Pattaya Hospital promises clearer communication after hothead reporter lambasts non-preferential treatment

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Pattaya Hospital administrators are promising to communicate better with patients following a blowup with a self-important reporter who spewed online his anger over not getting special treatment.

Deputy Mayor Poramet Ngampichet said Oct. 24 that he had assigned the Public Health Department to meet with all medical personnel to emphasize clear communication of hospital and medical procedures to prevent a repeat of what the hospital now calls a misunderstanding with the parent of a sick child Oct. 22.

In both photo and video posts to Facebook, an unidentified reporter claimed that Pattaya Hospital had refused service to his child, who had the symptoms of food poisoning when he went to the emergency room around 4 a.m.

With only the reporter’s slanted side of the story and few of the fact, keyboard warriors had their usual field day, lambasting the hospital, causing consternation for hospital administrators who knew the specifics.

Pattaya Hospital Director Dr. Kitti Poramatpol posted the hospital’s official response on his personal Facebook page later that day, a message that was repeated by Pattaya City Hall in its official press release on the matter two days later.

Kitti explained that at 4 a.m. there were seven serious cases in the emergency room, including a brain injury and a severe allergic reaction. The reporter’s child, meanwhile, was only vomiting.

Nurses took the child’s temperature and checked vital signs which all were normal. Furthermore, Kitti said, the child could walk fine and oxygen saturation levels were 99%, or normal. The child was in no danger and the parent was asked to wait while the critical patients were cared for.

The reporter allegedly exploded into a tirade, taking photos, shouting and pointing in the faces of doctors and nurses, threatening to spread bad publicity about the hospital if the child were not cared for immediately, Kitti said.

Unable to get his way, he stormed out of the facility, only to drive back to the entrance way and threaten the E.R. doctor again, Kitti added.

The reporter then went home and posted his complaint to Facebook before returning later that day to file an official complaint. When he did, he started recording a live Facebook video and shouting again.

The Pattaya Press Association was quick to disavow both the reporter and any involvement in the situation, which President Samart Thoangrod said unfairly damaged the reputations of both the hospital and the media.

Samart said the reporter was not a Pattaya Press Association member and condemned his behavior, saying it was unprofessional and unbecoming a member of the media.

Kitti now calls the entire incident a misunderstanding and said it was possible hospital staff did not communicate as clearly as possible with the reporter.