By The Nation
The certification was issued yesterday, just one day after he threatened to stop distributing free capsules to patients.
Mor Saeng, whose real name is Saengchai Haelerttrakul, has never received formal training as a physician, but he is widely referred to as “Mor”, which means “doctor” in Thai, because of the herbal concoctions that he hands out. Many patients who have taken the capsules report feeling better.
Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine director-general Kiattibhoom Vongrachit endorsed the certification for Saengchai as soon as he received required documents on Wednesday morning.
“Because he has already submitted all required documents, the certification process is complete,” the department’s deputy director-general Dr Pramote Stienrat said.
He denied speculation that the department acted fast because Saengchai said on Tuesday that he might stop distributing his herbal concoctions next month.
Saengchai issued the threat apparently out of dissatisfaction that Kiattibhoom earlier in the week had told the media that due to document issues, Saengchai had not yet been certified.
Saengchai said he submitted all the required documents last Saturday.
Pramote said Saengchai was now certified but could lose his certification if he engaged in commercial activities.
“Folk doctors treat or help patients for ethical reasons, not for money,” he said.
Ongoing research has apparently indicated positive results regarding Saengchai’s herbal formula, finding that it did not contain harmful substances and patients taking it reported feeling better. As many as 1,200 patients were involved in the studies.
The results of detailed analysis by the National Cancer Institute are not yet available.
Trained as a psychiatrist, Kiattibhoom said he believed cancer patients in terminal stages might want alternative treatments in the hope of improving their quality of life when modern medicine could provide them just palliative care.
Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said patients in the early stages of cancer should seek modern medical treatments because there were chances of full recovery.
“But you may go for alternative treatments if surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy do not provide satisfactory results. It will be good if alternative medicine boosts your morale or quality of life,” he said.