2 arrested for offering unlicensed Covid-19 tests in Pathum Thani
Police on Monday raided a clinic in Pathum Thani’s Muang district for allegedly conducting unauthorised Covid-19 tests and arrested two suspects.
The clinic’s owner Wasita (last name withheld) was charged for running an unlicensed medical facility and can face up to five years in prison and/or 100,000 baht in fines.
The service provider Pornnapha (last name withheld) was charged for performing medical procedures without a licence and stands to face up to three years in prison and/or up to 60,000 baht in fines.
The crackdown was announced in a press conference called on Tuesday afternoon by the Central Investigation Bureau, Department of Health Service Support (HSS), Food and Drug Administration and Pathum Thani Public Health Office.
This case came to light when HSS received a report from the provincial health office that a clinic was illegally providing rapid antigen tests.
HSS then called on the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) to investigate the matter.
Police showed up at D LAB Intergroup on Monday morning and learned that the clinic provided Covid-19 ATK tests for 500 baht per person. Police also found that the clinic did not get a licence from the Pathum Thani Public Health Office, but had a stamp of approval from a local hospital.
Investigators also learned that the clinic’s staff members were not doctors or medical technologists and that thousands of blood and urine samples were not being stored properly.
To protect consumers from being duped by such operations, HSS director-general Tares Krassanairawiwong called on people to first check the list of licenced hospitals at http://mrd-hss.moph.go.th/ before wasting time and money on questionable clinics.
CPPD commander Anan Nanasombat reiterated Taras’ advice and called on clinics and doctors to stop violating the law.
FDA's deputy secretary-general Supartra Boonserm, meanwhile, said that though the clinic used ATK tests approved for home use, the services were not being provided by medical personnel. She also said that members of staff lacked medical knowledge.
Hence, she said, people wanting to test for Covid-19 should check each hospital’s licence and ATK test kit registration at www.fda.moph.go.th.
She also urged people to report illegal practices via the 1556 hotline or email [email protected].
People wanting to get an RT-PCR test can check hospitals and labs authorised by the Department of Medical Sciences listed on www.dmsc.moph.go.th.
People can also report fake clinics or labs via the 1426 HSS hotline or contact provincial health authorities. Reports can also be lodged via CPPD’s 1135 hotline or through its Facebook page.