Thailand opens dedicated center to suppress suitcase doctors and illegal clinics

Sathit inaugurated the ‘operation center for investigating technological wrongdoings’ to suppress fake doctors, illegal clinics, and ‘suitcase doctors’.

Fake doctors, unauthorized clinics employing real doctors, and the issue of ‘suitcase doctors’ have become hot topics accompanying the popularity of beauty operations. The health ministry has now opened a dedicated center for tracking down these activities so that consumers are kept safe.

Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha inaugurated the ‘operation center for investigating technological wrongdoings’. The center was set up to suppress fake doctors, illegal clinics, and ‘suitcase doctors’. The latter refers to unlicensed individuals who deliver beauty procedures in unauthorized settings.

The center will act as the hub for complaints and reports reception and will monitor wrongdoings. It will also coordinate with relevant agencies to analyze problems and determine solutions with relevant agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration. The center will work to investigate wrongdoings quickly so consumers are kept safe and justice is delivered.

Mr. Sathit revealed that much information has been submitted from the public since the center started operation. However, there were too few personnel at the center to handle all the information. Staff from the Bureau of Legal Affairs had to be drawn in to speed up work. This is so complaints can be addressed in a timely manner as some cases, such as fake doctors, require a speedy response to minimize damage. The deputy health minister said the center will reduce the steps associated with complaints and reports filing and reduce the time incurred until an arrest is made. Public access to complaints and reports filing over illegal beauty operations will also improve. The center can be reached via the hotline number 1426 or the Facebook of the Department of Health Services Support.

Mr. Sathit said 40 cases involving fake doctors and illegal health establishments have been processed since October 2021. The cases involved arrests. Another 164 cases involving fines ranging between 10,000 and 100,000 baht were processed. (NNT)