YouTube-taught 'surgeon' among 8 bogus doctors nabbed in crackdown
Police and health officials raided eight unlicensed clinics in Bangkok and three other provinces late last month and arrested eight bogus doctors.
One of these so-called doctors was found to have only completed primary education and had learned cosmetic surgery techniques via YouTube tutorials.
The operation was conducted jointly by the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD), the Health Service Support Department and the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The crackdown was based on complaints received between November 23 and 29 on dubious health products and services being sold in Bangkok, Chonburi, Samut Songkhram and Pathum Thani.
The three agencies called a press conference on Tuesday to announce the result of the operations.
CPPD chief Pol Maj-General Anan Nanasombat only provided the first names of the eight suspects, which were Thanatsorn, 24; Srisunee, 36; Napaphat, 39; Jirat, 23; Sasiphat, 36; Korakot, 54; Boonpha, 48; and Angkhanang, 26.
Jirat and Korakot were the only two men on the list.
Anan said the authorities also seized 836 items from the illegal clinics.
The so-called doctors were charged with running medical clinics without a licence, performing medical services without a licence and selling medicines that have not been registered with the FDA.
Anan also brought four shocking cases to the media’s attention at the conference.
The first was related to suspect Thanatsorn, who ran an illegal clinic in Samut Songkhram’s Muang district.
She allegedly pretended to be a medical doctor and prescribed medicines to patients. She has reportedly confessed that she only completed her secondary education and used what little she had learned working as a nurse’s assistant for a year to “treat” patients.
Another interesting case was that of Srisunee, who called herself “Dr Nok”. She treated patients at the Min Muntra clinic in Soi Ram Indra 5 in Bangkok’s Bang Khen district and claimed to have been a teaching doctor for six years. In reality, Srisunee has only completed vocational school, Anan said without elaborating.
The third case involved Napaphat and Sasiphat, who allegedly ran the RCA Medical Treatment Clinic.
Anan said these women had completed their bachelor’s degrees in nursing but pretended to be doctors. Napaphat has allegedly been working as a so-called doctor for five years and Sasipat for one year.
However, Anan said the most stunning case was that of Boonpha, who had only completed her primary education.
She ran Pha Zalon in Chonburi’s Bang Lamung district and admitted to having learned the technique of administering beauty filler injections via YouTube. She said she had ordered the products online to try them on herself first before providing beauty services to her clients.
Dr Phanuwat Parnket, deputy director-general of the Health Service Support Department, said the administration of fillers like Botox for beauty enhancement is considered a medical procedure and can only be performed by licensed medical staff in licensed clinics and hospitals.