HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presides over royally sponsored funeral ceremony
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on
Monday, August 30, presided over the royally sponsored funeral service for
the late Chao Chai Suriwongse na Chiangmai at Wat Suan Dok Temple on Suthep
Road, Chiang Mai.
Hundreds of guests attended the funeral. Chao Chai
Suriwongse was a prominent northern dignitary who had large property
holdings in Chiang Mai, including the former Suriwongse Hotel and Duangtawan
He is survived by several relatives, including his son, Thawatwong na
Chiang- mai, president of the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration
60-year-old US P-38 plane discovered near Thai-Burmese border
Investigations underway to positively identify aircraft
The wreckage of a United States P-38 aircraft used during
World War II has been found in the Ban Huai Krai Mai Forest in Chiang
Mai’s Wiang Haeng district. The aircraft’s remains were found by local
dwellers about 10 kilometers from the Thai-Burmese border.
Group Capt Sakpinij Promthep, head of the History
Division at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum, has examined the find and the
American consulate was notified.
of an American P-38 aircraft were found in the forest in Wiang Haeng
Group Capt. Sakpinij said parts of a machine gun, bullets
and other small fragments of the engine and fuselage were found. “From the
engine type and equipment, it can be ascertained that the P-38 aircraft was
manufactured by the Lockheed Company in the United State during World War
II, between 1941-45. The P-38s were sent to important bases in the Southeast
Asia region during the war,” he said.
The P-38 aircraft were used to bomb Japanese troop
emplacements in areas of Chiang Mai, Lampang and Uttradit provinces during
The name and fate of the pilot could not be ascertained
at this time, as the engine serial number was not found. If this is
discovered, it should be easy to work out the pilot’s name from the US
Representatives of the American consulate in Bangkok met
with Group Capt. Sakpinij to discuss the find. The Joint Training and
Apprenticeship Committee in Hawaii will become involved to research the
pilot’s name and investigate the reason for the plane going down.
The area where the wreckage was found is to be promoted as a new
historical tourism site by the Royal Thai Air Force, Electricity Generating
Authority of Thailand (EGAT) and the development project of Wiang Haeng
Mine. The aircraft’s remains will be used as an educational medium for
students to learn about the history of World War II.
Community based drug rehab center opened
Rattananurak Health Rehabilitation Center in Lampang’s
Muang district was officially opened by the Minister of Public Health,
Sudarat Keyuraphan, on August 20. The center, on Huay Peng Road, began
operating last December for drug rehabilitation for addicts from 17 northern
The center’s main programs are based on a
community-based drug rehabilitation method. All drug users and addicts live
together as a big family in a safe and drug-free environment. The center
also develops their social skills, alter their behavior and increase their
opportunities to be employed and keep them off drugs in future.
The center has rehabilitated 117 former drug addicts so
far, of whom 10 willingly entered the program and 107 were forced to enter,
reported Suchart Laoboriphat, director of the Drug Rehabilitation Center,
Chiang Mai. Of these, 51 were hill tribe member and the rest locals.
The Minister declared that community-based drug
rehabilitation had been accepted globally and over 50 countries had applied
this method for their drug addicts.
According to the evaluation done by the United States, 80
percent of addicts who passed through community rehabilitation do not return
to drug use and are able to conform to society and live happily.
The Ministry of Public Health had initially targeted
270,000 drug users nationwide, of whom 118,300 were users and 151,700
addicts, said Sudarat. So far the numbers have exceeded this with 539,309
having entered the rehabilitation program.
Botanical park glows with pride
The Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) has completed
a lighting installation project in the Huay Kaew Botanical Park. The project
was undertaken by PEA’s Region 1, Northern Region, Chiang Mai and cost
Mai MP Yaowapha Wongsawas (center) at the opening ceremony with Chiang Mai
Governor Suwat Tantipat (left), Decha Vichitphan (PEA) on Yaowapha’s left,
and other guests of honor.
The park is sometimes open to the public until late
evening, so the Chiang Mai provincial authorities implemented the
improvement project for the botanical park used as a recreation place,
fitness center and flora study center. To make it possible to extend the
hours and for safety’s sake, the PEA designed an electricity supply system
and lighting installation with underground cables.
The park, located near Chiang Mai Zoo and Chiang Mai
University at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain, is now billed as another
tourist attraction on Huay Kaew Road. Young people are able to express their
artistic and musical skills and talents on the lawns.
Chiang Mai MP Yaowapha Wongsawas presided over the opening ceremony on
EGAT environmental impact studies to go ahead for coal mine project
17.9 million baht windfall for CMU
The go-ahead for the Electricity Generating Authority of
Thailand’s (EGAT) project of mining for coal over 3,500 rai in Tambon Saen
Hai and Tambon Piang Luang of Chiang Mai’s Wiang Haeng district will
depend on results of environmental and social impact assessments.
people protesting against EGAT’s coal mine project wear red T-shirts as
their symbol in their common fight against EGAT.
If the studies show a destructive impact on local
inhabitants, the project will be terminated or adjourned, said Maj. Dr.
Anuchart Palakawong Na Ayuthaya, Scientist C-10 of the Environment Division
of EGAT. The coal mine was expected to get cabinet approval and be
constructed in 2008, but only if it has passed assessments and local
deliberation, he said.
EGAT has hired the Engineering Service Center of the
Engineering Faculty, Chiang Mai University, to run the Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA), with the cost being 17.9 million baht. The study will take
16 months to complete. It will focus on local participation on gauging the
impact, following the tenets of the Thai Constitution, which gives priority
to participation by the people.
The Language and Culture Research Institute at Mahidol
University has been given responsibility for the Social Impact Assessment (SIA)
being carried out among nine tribes of local dwellers.
Following the EIA and SIA, independent public
deliberations will be held for six months to allow communities to approve
the studies and measure appropriateness and impact of the project to prevent
conflicts at a later date.
Already, a group of local dwellers has been protesting
against the project, claiming it will cause pollution in the district and
spoil the environment. One of villagers in Ban Chong, Tambon Wiang Laung,
who is part of the opposition group expressed his concern about the regular
transport of coal to Mae Moh Power Plant in Lampang to generate electricity.
He said it caused air and noise pollution and was a danger for local road
He is also concerned about dangerous minerals underground
such as cadmium and lead that may cause harm to people’s health and
On the other hand, he admitted that more income,
employment and tourism could follow the mine and help the nation that needed
the resource. Two 17 year old students who reside in Wiang Haeng district
said they did not want the mine in their hometown as it would spoil the
environment and cause pollution.
EGAT claims that the coal mine would generate an
estimated 20 million tons of coal over 20 years, saving Thailand about 15
billion baht in energy bought from other countries.
The areas for the mine are state property as they are
mainly forest areas, military areas and a recently announced national park.
However, many local villagers’ farmlands are also located in the areas.
EGAT explorations in the Wiang Haeng district since 1983 have shown it
has a supply of approximate 139 million tons of coal with low (1 percent)
World summit to share OTOP ideas
Chiang Mai is to host an international “One Village One
Product Summit: Uplift Grassroots Economy Sustainability” from September
16-19. This will take place at the Chiang Mai University’s Convention Hall.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is expected to preside
over the opening ceremony and Finance Minister Dr Somkid Jatusripitak will
chair the event.
Representatives from Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia,
Singapore, Laos, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, China, India, South
Korea, Mongolia, Australia, New Zealand, Malawi and Tunisia will participate.
The main objectives of the conference are to give
participating countries the chance to exchange their ideas on their One
Tambon One Product (OTOP) operations, seek new markets and exchange products.
It is hoped that the conference will help boost the
standard of Thai products and publicize them in other countries and markets.
At the conference, top quality OTOP items will be on
display and on sale.
Public Relations Department wins award for radio training
The Public Relations Department (PRD), Region 3, Chiang
Mai Office has won the “Innovation in Radio Training Package Award” in
an international contest organized by the Asia-Pacific Institute for
Broadcasting Development (AIBD).
Phantufak, director of Public Relations Department (PRD), Region 3, Chiang
According to Jintana Phantufak, the director of the
office, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse made the award last
month to PRD director-general Suchart Suchartwetchaphum at the 3rd general
assembly of AIBD in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
There were four categories in the AIBD contest:
Innovation in Radio Training Package, won by PRD Chiang Mai; Most
Outstanding Radio Program on National Harmony, won by China; Most Prominent
Television Program on the Diversity of Cultures, won by Korea; and Best
Television Program on Local Issues, especially Children and Women, won by
Director Jintana said the Office’s training course on
Digital Radio Production for Broadcasting was produced by Veerasak
Choengchaow, who is responsible for technique, and Saipin Choengchaow,
responsible for programming, on behalf of the PRD.
The two training courses on digital radio programming
were launched in 2000 at a seminar on digital radio broadcasting by
computers, and in 2003 for the digital radio studio and techniques in
digital radio production.
The programs were designed to help develop the work of Radio Thailand in
the Upper Northern provinces, changing it from the analog to digital.
Traffic police to crack down on speeding motorists
Surreptitious B. 200 not going to be enough?
Speedsters beware! The Chiang Mai traffic police have
announced they will charge drivers exceeding the 90 km/h speed limit.
In a response to the government’s policy on energy
saving, Pol Maj Chartthai Chuchai, the traffic police inspector in the
southern zone of Chiang Mai Provincial Traffic Police, said that traffic
police are ready to crack down on motorists.
Maj Chartthai Chuchai, the traffic police inspector in the southern zone of
“The petrol price is increasing all the time, and we
want to step up the measures to produce energy saving and at the same time
reduce the number of road accidents,” he said.
The Land Transport Act 1979 will be enforced to control
the speed of vehicles on the road. He said the traffic police and highways
police in the past two months ran a campaign to limit motorists to 90 km/h,
particularly on the Chiang Mai-Lampang Superhighway and other main roads.
More than 230 motorists have been fined.
“The Chiang Mai Provincial Traffic Headquarters has dispatched traffic
police to undergo training on making arrests and taking action,” he said.
Night Bazaar to regain its former attractiveness
The Night Bazaar is to be spruced up, it was decided
during the Chiang Mai Municipality’s recent meeting with over 880 vendors.
Chiang Mai deputy mayor for the Public Works Division,
Poonsawas Worawal, chaired the conference with Night Bazaar market
After the conference, Poonsawas said the Night Bazaar
market is in a state of disorder and needs to be improved and cleaned up.
The participants agreed on an improvement plan and asked
the municipality to build uniform stands for them to use. It was also agreed
to let Rak Night Bazaar Club be responsible for garbage collection in the
Night Bazaar precinct.
The municipality will provide municipal police to control
traffic and municipal police boxes have been erected for this purpose.
The deputy mayor said when the improvements are finished,
the Night Bazaar would again deserve its reputation as a magnet for both
Thai and foreign tourists.
Market stallholders protest against area tax
Already hard enough to make a living
Vendors in the Siriwattana market have complained at what
they call unfair trading taxes meted out according to the size of their
stalls. 30 vendors, led by Samai Yomkum, rallied in front of the market on
August 23 and handed an appeal to Dr Surapong Towichakchaikul, former MP for
submit the complaint to former MP for Chiang Mai Dr Surapong.
Samai said that officers of Chiang Mai Municipality had
been collecting tax from the stallholders for around three months. On August
13, officials from the Chiang Mai Provincial Revenue Office examined the
stallholders’ areas at the Siriwattana market, and calculated a new
trading tax payable. Samai said that according to the area tax, he had to
pay 1,600 baht for his 2 metres by 2 metres stall, which to him seemed to be
Samai said that they had never had to pay taxes to any
governmental offices before, but only to local administration organizations.
They are now calling for assistance from any associated government offices
as they earn only a little money each day. If they have to pay such a tax,
they would face financial difficulties.
Stallholder Praweesuda Thepsib, 49, said she earned very
little for her family. She could not even afford her children’s education
fees and had to borrow 30,000 baht from a loan shark, with 20 percent
interest. She considered the new tax to be double taxation, as she already
has to pay the owner of the market and the local administration
Dr Surapong brought the petition before the House on August 25 and handed
it to the MP’s Economics Committee to let them clarify the vendors’ new
tax as soon as possible. It was also decreed that vendors at other markets
need to pay the trading area tax as well.
New historical finds unearthed in Wiang Haeng district
Around 60 historical sites have been discovered in Chiang
Mai’s Wiang Haeng district, but the Fine Arts Department is yet to
Dr. Anuchart Palkawong Na Ayutthaya, a scientist at the
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), has revealed details of
sites with ancient temple remains, and other historical sites and artefacts.
However, they were not registered by the Fine Arts Department yet “as it
is responsible for supporting and restoring many historical sites”.
Chao Chatri Chalerm has said this is the place where King Naresuan the Great
All the sites in Wiang Haeng district are located near
water sources, which is unique, unlike other sites at Wiang Kum Kam, Dr
Wiang Haeng district is steeped in history, especially
that surrounding the death of King Naresuan the Great, who reigned during
the Ayutthaya era.
“If these sites are promoted properly, tourism in the
district will increase. Many Wiang Haeng residents are becoming aware of
their heritage and have helped the district preserve these ancient temple
remains,” said Dr Anuchart.
Recently, Mom Chao Chatri Chalerm Yukala or “Tarn Mui”,
director of the film “Suriyothai”, after studying the history of King
Naresuan the Great checked out the area as a possible location for his new
film, “King Naresuan the Great”. He believes that the area was where
King Naresuan died on his way to fight with the Burmese king.
The district plans to build a permanent hall to preserve the battle
helmet that the King used during the war and has asked people to donate
money for the building. Those who would like to contribute should contact
the Wiang Haeng District Chief Office on 0-9851-6079.
Chiang Rai tastes fruitful border trade
Literally and figuratively
Deciduous fruits from Mainland China are reaching
Thailand’s markets through the border trade at Chiang Saen town. So far
this year, 500 million baht worth of fruit, mainly apples and pears, has
been imported through Chiang Rai province, according to a customs official
in Chiang Saen.
The border trade is booming again as importers,
especially in the northern region, have ordered large quantities of fruit
from southern China.
Last year trade volumes had dropped as surpluses among
Chinese exporters led to price wars and losses, but this has not been
repeated this year.
Vinai Chimthongprasert, chief of the Customs House at
Chiang Saen district, said this year’s Chinese import volumes had reached
1 billion baht in border trade, while Thai exports reached 2 billion baht.
China’s apple and pear imports alone were higher than last year’s import
volumes. This was because the commencement of the Free Trade Agreement
between Thailand and China in October 2003 had produced fruitful border
Precious plant seeds spread
by air to honor Thailand’s Queen
Rare species will flourish under conservation program
The Royal Thai Air Force plans to sew some
200 kilograms of plant seeds from the air to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s
72nd birthday. The Air Force’s Wing 41 will spread the seeds throughout
selected areas in the northern region of the country. It is a routine
agricultural project according to the commander in charge of the scheme,
squadron leader Wisurin Moolla.
The seeds were given to the Royal Thai Air Force by
forestry and conservation officials in a recent ceremony in Chiang Mai. They
cover a wide variety of plants and protected species, including teak,
jackfruit and tamarind. The seeds were bought with donations.
Aircraft used to help produce artificial rain will be
used in the forthcoming operation. But the date of the operation has yet to
be decided. (TNA)
Effects of bio-diesel on engines queried
Red minibus owners are concerned about the long-term
effects of bio-diesel on their vehicles’ engines as they claim no
organization has taken the responsibility to study the matter.
At the end of a two-month campaign promoting the use of
bio-diesel, Singkham Nunti, president of the Nakhon Lanna Transport
Cooperatives, said over 200 red minibuses had changed over to the new fuel
but the outcome of the campaign could not yet be assessed.
“The cooperatives are concerned about the effect on the
engines in the long term,” he said. They wanted to know who will take
responsibility if their vehicles’ engines were damaged. However, there
have not been any problems from using bio-diesel up to this point.
The government has been promoting the project of using
recycled vegetable oil as bio-diesel in Chiang Mai’s San Kamphaeng
The proposal to reduce the cost of bio-diesel by 30
satang per liter has not come into effect yet.
Hi-tech gadget sniffs body and clothes
The Provincial Police Bureau Region 5 has started to use
a DS 1000 N machine to search for drugs and weapons hidden in the body and
The electronic sniffer dog, imported from the United
States at a cost of 50 million baht, has now been used in the suppression of
drugs and weapons among club-goers in Chiang Mai.
It was first unleashed in a spot check raid led by deputy
commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 5 Pol Maj Gen Vuth Vititanont,
accompanied by 50 policemen and officials from the Chiang Mai Provincial
Public Health Office.
Eight teenagers were found in possession of drugs and
Pol Maj Gen Vuth said that the strict control of drug use
among club-goers would continue and become even stricter.
The DS 1000 N is excellent in searching for 12 types of
narcotics and nine types of bombs or grenades, he said, adding that it is
also available for police officers from other police stations in the area.
It looks as if the wonder puppy won’t be staying too
long in his kennel!
Road construction planning in the North
Save four hours on way to Mae Hong Son
Motorists driving between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son can
look forward to a mere two hour drive instead of the current five to six
hours, promises the Highways Department.
A new highway from Samoeng district to Wat Chan in Mae
Hong Son next year, will cut the travelling time, but don’t rush - the
short cut is currently only at feasibility study stage.
According to Bancha Ekthammasuthi, the first Highways
District Office, Chiang Mai, more interchange construction projects are in
the pipeline to help solve the Chiang Mai City traffic chaos, as well as
fly-overs, such as the one at Highway 121 on the Outer Ring Road, and
Highway 1001 (Chiang Mai-Phrao district) crossroads.
There will also be fly-over construction at the crossroad
of Outer Ring Road and Highway 118 (Chiang Mai-Doi Saket and San Kamhaeng
districts) and at the crossroads of Highway 11 and Highway 1147, leading to
the Northern Region Industrial Estate in Lamphun.
Other shortcuts linking Chiang Mai City with other
neighboring provinces will be considered, in line with the government’s
policy that designates Chiang Mai as the hub of transportation (and
There are also plans to widen some roads for four-lane
traffic, especially the Outer Ring Road between the Samoeng district
intersection link to the Chiang Mai-Lamphun Superhighway intersection.
The four-lane widening will also cover the existing
highways from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun, from Mae Taeng
district town to Chiang Dao, from Doi Saket district town to Mae Suay
district to Chiang Rai, and from Chormthong district town to Hot district,
Highway 116 (Pa Sang, Lamphun) to connect with Highway 118 at Doi Lor. These
will include the highways from Chiang Mai-Hang Dong, Mae Rim-Mae Taeng, and
Chiang Mai-San Kamphaeng.
The Highways Department said its vision is to offer
“convenient highways with road safety and beauty throughout the Lanna
This year, the department here has begun construction on
two underpasses, at the Kuang Singh and the Sarn Dek intersections. The
Highway 121 Outer Ring Road in the western part of Chiang Mai City has
already been completed. This will help relieve traffic congestion.
With all the plans, let us hope the Highways Department
remembers that sensible reconstructions, allowing more than one lane at a
time to proceed, will keep motorists happy and stop the incredible
bottlenecks that much of the road resurfacing caused this year.
Everyone can contribute to saving energy
Autsathai Rattandilok na Phuket, head of the Chiang Mai
Provincial Land Transport Office, wants everyone to conform to the
government campaign to save energy.
The first operation has been carried out at its main
office, the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal, Chang Puak Bus Terminal and its
three branch offices. The second operation has been promoted among the
public and transportation-related entrepreneurs.
The Land Transport Office set the goal that its offices
and bus terminals will help the country to reduce the nation’s energy
consumption by not using air-conditioners at weekends, to use it only from 1
p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and to work at 25 degrees Celsius.
Light in the offices will be turned on only when
necessary and switched off after working hours, except when employees need
to carry out official work after hours.
Motorists will not exceed 90 km/h to help save fuel.
The Lands Transport Office has also sped up its work on
mass transportation. It has told all red minibuses to operate only on their
set routes, and buses will run on the main roads.
The office has also asked transportation service
companies to save fuel by loading their trucks as much as possible within
the rules of safety.
The public has been asked to plan their trips so they do
as much as possible on one trip, and to share rides when travelling in the
same direction. They have also been asked not to use air-conditioners before
noon as the Chiang Mai weather is getting cooler now.
Meanwhile, Singkham Nunti, president of the Nakhon Lanna
Transport Cooperatives, suggested all taxi drivers should not drive around
when they do not have passengers.
He gave the assurance that the service price of red
minibuses will not increase as a result of the rising fuel price and called
on the public to use minibuses to help the country save energy.
He added that, if any minibus driver serves any
passengers impolitely or improperly, they can inform the Cooperatives or
notify the police and any Transportation Office officials, so that the
Cooperatives can improve the service quality.
Japanese govt donates dental equipment to Chiang Mai University
A handing-over ceremony of dental equipment donated by
the government of Japan to the Faculty of Dentistry, Chiang Mai University,
was carried out on August 31 at the faculty’s conference room.
group poses for posterity at the Faculty of Dentistry.
Kei Kanamori, the first secretary of the Embassy of
Japan, and the assistant to the first secretary, Naoko Ashida, represented
the Japanese government in granting three mobile airotors worth almost 1.4
billion baht to Associate Professor Virush Pattanaporn, dean of the Faculty
of Dentistry, through the president of Chiang Mai University, Assistant
Professor Nipon Tuwanon.
left: Kei Kanamori, the first secretary of the Embassy of Japan, Chiang Mai
University president Asst Prof Dr Nipon Tuwanon and Assoc Prof Virush
Pattanaporn, the dean of Faculty of Dentistry, CMU.
This was part of the “Project for Empowering Mobile
Dental Clinics in Northern Thailand” from the government of Japan. The
faculty will use these mobile airotors in its dental services in rural areas
of eight Upper Northern provinces.
left: Asst Prof Dr Nipon Tuwanon, Assoc Prof Virus Pattanaporn, the dean of
the Faculty of Dentistry CMU and Kei Kanamori, the first secretary of the
Embassy of Japan with the donated dental equipment.
Japan’s support of northern dental service goes back to
2001 when Shigeuki Suzuki, Japanese consul general in Chiang Mai, and
Kazuhiro Eto, dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the Tokyo Medical and
Dental University, suggested the CMU’s Dentistry Faculty apply for support
from the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GGP) from the government
After the proposal was approved, the government of Japan donated three
sets of mobile airotors to the faculty to support free dental services in
northern rural areas.
PRD and ONCB address international narcotics seminar participants
Perhaps international cooperation will eventuate
A training course on ‘International Narcotics Law
Enforcement’ was organized from August 16-27 to disseminate knowledge of
the justice process in the Asia-Pacific region. The participants came from
Nepal, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Jamaica, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia,
Philippines, Vietnam, Burma, Iran, Bangladesh, Brunei and Thailand.
Jintana Phantufak (left) briefs the participants attending the International
Narcotics Law Enforcement seminar.
The 26 delegates from 15 countries called on the Public
Relations Department (PRD), Region 3 Chiang Mai Offices on August 24, and on
the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5 the next day.
PRD director Jintana Phantufak briefed the delegation on
the department’s role and functions, as well as activities in its
anti-drugs campaign. A group discussion and exchange of information
followed, especially on the use of mass media as a tool to combat drug
The study tour was aimed at evaluating the drug situation
in terms of production, trading, smuggling, transportation and the control
of chemical substance precursors for drug production, as well as the extent
of drug dissemination in the area.
The law enforcement officers from the varying countries
are looking for closer cooperation to work more efficiently.
On August 25, the Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB)
took the study group to the Provincial Police Bureau, Region 5’s
Information Technology Center for a briefing session.
Pol Col Sarawuth Chantaraprasert, superintendent of the Investigative
Police Division, informed the delegates of the bureau’s activities in drug
suppression, E-cop information technology and other IT-related work.
Hospitals, rescue teams accused of acting inappropriately
Chiang Mai’s governor has accused a private hospital of
violating its medical ethics which, he claimed, may negatively impact the
city becoming a medical hub.
This follows a complaint from Boontham Khamphiro,
chairman of the Chai Kaew Community in Tambon Nonghoy lodged with Governor
Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat
According to the complaint, 32-year-old Boonnet Pinksaew,
a Chiangmai Phucome employee, was seriously injured when he was hit by a
pickup on Boonruangrit Road, near the gates of the Maharaj Nakhon Chiang Mai
But instead of admitting Boonnet to Maharaj Nakhon Chiang
Mai Hospital with full equipment, capacity and facilities for medial
services, the rescue team transported him to Central Memorial Hospital,
which is located about 5 km away, where Boonnet died after receiving
Boontham also claimed that when relatives came to fetch
Boonnet’s body for the funeral ceremony, the hospital staff asked them to
pay 20,000 baht. This caused further unhappiness.
It is reputed that some hospitals pay commissions to
those who bring patients to them - 500 baht per patient - resulting in
fierce competition among rescue teams in search of people injured in road
Governor Suwat Tantipat said at his weekly press
conference on August 31 that he would assign the police to take action
against the rescue team operations to solve the problem. “There must be a
thorough look at the rescue foundations’ system, including their executive
boards and staff,” the governor said.
He added that it was “very shameful” when the
hospitals overcharge. “If they do not charge properly and ethically, this
would increase people’s suffering.”
He said, “Instead of being promoted as the Medical Hub
City, we will lose our reputation of offering a high standard of service.
The warm hospitality of the organizations and warm welcome by executive
boards of hospitals should be attracting patients from both Thailand and
abroad, to use our medical services here.”
“Inappropriate actions by rescue teams would be harmful and unethical.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Department must inspect hospitals
falling under the CEO governor, to ensure they are managed properly,” he