Although Bumrungrad was not named per se, the fictitious “Boomboomgrad Hospital” is clearly intended to represent our hospital – and would be easily understood by your readers. For the following reasons, the cartoon is inaccurate and defamatory; it is also highly disrespectful to our patients and staff and undermines the values on which our hospital is built.
1. The sign on the hospital door prohibiting “poor Thai people” is both odious and inaccurate. Our hospital does not bar anyone from availing of our facilities. Indeed, Thai patients make up a substantial contribution of our patient portfolio. It is widely recognised that the private hospital sector helps to reduce the burden on our country's public hospitals and provide an alternative for domestic patients. We are proud to have built a network of public and private hospitals and medical schools to facilitate referrals for patients from around Thailand. In addition, our longstanding community programmes provide healthcare to disadvantaged communities.
2. The depiction of the nurse in this illustration is also highly offensive. Her attire, her attitude and approach to patient care in no way depict our staff or patient care. Professionalism, compassion and care are the hallmarks of our approach. In addition, the cartoon is not just demeaning to our nurses but to all Thai women.
3. Lastly, the cartoon leads your readers into a misinterpretation that Hakeem al-Araibi is or has been a patient in our hospital, that we involve ourselves in international politics and that we are susceptible to bribery and corruption. We absolutely refute all of these allegations. We ensure that our hospital adheres to the highest standards of medical and business ethics.
Our hospital delivers numerous benefits to Thailand. We have helped raise medical standards in Thailand through our world-class reputation as well as the nationwide network of medical institutions we have set up. As one of the top hospitals globally, Bumrungrad has put Thailand’s private medical industry on the world stage. We have therefore attracted millions of visitors to the country which in turn contributes significantly to the Thai economy.
In conclusion, we find the cartoon in The Nation defamatory and offensive and request your prompt clarification and further appropriate action from the publication to redress these unfounded allegations.
Chief marketing officer, Bumrungrad International Hospital
Editor’s note: The Nation takes these concerns into consideration and apologises for any confusion and inaccuracies promoted by the cartoon in question.