A doctor has been suspended from duty at Chiang Saen Hospital in Chiang Rai province and is now facing a probe from the Medical Council of Thailand over a heated argument with a patient.
The hospital director, Dr Sookchai Theansavettrakul, expressed regret over the doctor’s behaviour and explained the problem stemmed from a miscommunication between the doctor and the patient and her relatives.
Dr Sookchai said the hospital has ordered the doctor suspended from work for five days pending an internal investigation.
A video clip circulated on social media in which the doctor is sitting cross-legged on a chair while fiddling with her mobile phone and uttering insults against a patient and her relatives, calling them ngo (stupid). The two sides traded arguments.
The patient, a 36-year-old woman who is 12 weeks pregnant, came to the hospital for treatment after experiencing nausea and having difficulty eating. She also felt exhausted and had stomach pains.
She was taken to an emergency room where the doctor decided to administer her with an injection to cure her condition.
However, the patient refused the injection and asked to be given intravenous fluid instead. The doctor denied her request, which upset the patient and her relatives. The two sides were then embroiled in a heated argument.
The Medical Council of Thailand (MCT) has been in contact with the hospital and led an inquiry.
Air Marshal Itthaporn Kanacharoen, the MCT secretary-general, posted on his Facebook that after reviewing the case, the MCT intends to investigate the doctor for showing discourteous conduct toward a patient during treatment, which tarnished the prestige and reputation of the profession.
After that, the council board will consider the penalty to be imposed on the doctor.
AM Itthaporn asked for public understanding over the stressful working conditions endured by medical staff, which can trigger outbursts.