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Rescuers assist a tourist from Taiwan after a traffic accident in Bangkok

The Minister of Health has ordered an investigation into a private clinic in Bangkok that refused to provide emergency care to a severely injured tourist from Taiwan.

The Taiwanese citizen was found unconscious after a traffic accident on Pattanakarn Soi 50 street. The Ruamkatanyu Foundation rescue team performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him. As he was in critical condition, the rescuers decided to transport him to a private clinic located just 500 meters from the accident site.

The staff at the private clinic refused to admit the patient until they obtained approval for hospitalization from their manager. Within 10 minutes, an unknown clinic employee approached the rescuers, expressing dissatisfaction that the injured person had been brought to them. The woman doubted whether the tourist or any of his relatives could afford the treatment and instructed them to take the patient to the nearest public hospital, which was more than 10 km away.

The man died from his injuries in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

The Director-General of the Department of Health confirmed the initiation of an investigation. He also added that all hospitals are obligated to provide emergency care under universal health coverage for emergency patients. Afterward, any hospital can seek reimbursement from the government for the cost of emergency care services.

If the clinic's fault is proven, refusal of treatment entails penalties: a fine of 40,000 baht and/or imprisonment for up to two years.

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