Fake physicians, unlicensed clinics employing actual doctors, and the issue of “suitcase doctors” have become heated subjects with the rising demand for cosmetic procedures. To ensure the safety of customers, the health ministry has now established a specialized unit for tracking down these operations.
Deputy Minister of Public Health Sathit Pitutecha opened the “operational center for investigating technological misconduct.” The institution was established to combat bogus physicians, illicit clinics, and “suitcase doctors.” This refers to unlicensed individuals who perform beauty treatments in unlawful locations.
The center will monitor misbehavior and serve as a hub for gathering complaints and reports. It will also cooperate with relevant agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, to examine problems and identify remedies. The center will aim to conduct prompt investigations of misconduct so that customers are protected and justice is served.
Mr. Sathit disclosed that the public has supplied an abundance of data since the center’s inception. However, the center lacked sufficient employees to process all the data. To expedite the task, Bureau of Legal Affairs personnel have to be recruited. This is done so that complaints can be addressed promptly, as certain cases, such as those involving phony doctors, require a prompt response to minimize the damage. The deputy minister of health stated that the center will simplify the stages associated with filing complaints and reports, as well as the time required before an arrest is made. Additionally, public access to complaints and reports against unlawful beauty operations would be enhanced. The hotline number 1426 or the Facebook page of the Department of Health Services Support can be used to contact the center.
Mr. Sathit stated that since October 2021, 40 cases involving phony doctors and unlawful health facilities have been processed. In the cases, arrests were made. Additional 164 cases involving fines between 10,000 and 100,000 baht were handled.