Lawyer ready to fire more shots at hospital

national November 16, 2018 01:00

By KORNAKAMON AKSORNDECH
THE NATION

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Accuses Praram 2 of falsely getting NHSO reimbursements, bribing rescue workers; Hospital denies it was ordered closed.



OUTSPOKEN lawyer Atchariya Ruangratanapong yesterday said he will testify against a Bangkok private hospital, which was accused of denying treatment on November 9 to a now-deceased acid-burn victim.

The lawyer is expected to deliver his testimony to a Public Health Ministry-assigned committee on Monday.

Atchariya also said he would lodge a complaint with the National Health Security Office (NHSO) to check on the hospital’s alleged use of villagers’ names as patients to get reimbursements and allegedly bribing a rescue foundation’s ambulance driver to deliver emergency patients to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Praram 2 Hospital director Dr Wallapa Chaimanowong, at this week’s second press conference yesterday, dismissed as untrue a report that the hospital was ordered closed for 15 days by the Department of Health Service Support (DHSS) due to a lack of quality or standard.

She said the hospital will exercise its legal right to sue social-media users and news agencies for publishing such false information and causing damage to the hospital’s reputation. She also called on the public to wait for the investigation results on Monday, regarding the hospital’s handling of the acid-burn patient. 

As for news about DHSS ordering the hospital to close its outpatient building – which was modified from a carpark building without permission – and improve facilities within 15 days or face licence revocation, the hospital’s lawyer Surapat Prapaporn said this matter had nothing to do with the patient-related allegations. He said the hospital – which has been operating for 20 years – had legally modified the building and was submitting documents with the Public Health Ministry to prove that.

Atchariya, meanwhile, said the ministry-assigned committee – which will also hear the hospital’s defence on Monday – will decide on that very day if the hospital was guilty of violating the Health Facility Act regarding its handling of late acid-wound patient Chorladda Tharawan, 38, and what punishment should be imposed. 

If the hospital is found guilty of breaching the act, its executives could be hit by a minimum two-year sentence in prison and a fine as seen appropriate by DHSS.

Other than testifying and filing a corruption complaint, Atchariya will also file a complaint with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) on Tuesday.

He wants the BMA to investigate 

 the hospital, as he claims to have a list of people whose names were falsely used by the hospital to reimburse money as well as a document the hospital allegedly sent to rescue workers offering a bribe for patient delivery. 

Meanwhile, Chorladda’s husband, 50-year-old Lop Buri native Kamtan Singhanart, was arrested on Sunday night under a murder warrant at his friend’s house in Nakhon Sawan. 

He is currently under court detention pending police investigation.

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