Some Thai law experts came out to say that disclosing the personal health conditions of a former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, could constitute a violation of the National Health Security Act.
The warning came in response to a recent call by the Student and People Network for Thailand Reform (SNT) Association, which demanded the detailed disclosure of Thaksin’s current health status as his stay in a hospital versus a prison recently marked one month last week.
The SNT stated that they wanted the doctors at Police General Hospital to provide clarification on Thaksin’s illness to ensure that he was not receiving any privileges for staying in a hospital instead of a prison.
However, some Thai legal experts cautioned against such an action, saying physicians are required by law to keep patient information confidential as stipulated in the National Health Act of 2007 and the Medical Profession Act of 1982.
They said detainees are considered regular patients when seeking medical attention. In order to reveal their health condition to the public, prisoners must provide consent first.
Upon Thaksin’s first-day incarceration at Bangkok Remand Prison, he was reported to have five medical conditions, including an ischemic heart muscle, chronic pulmonary inflammation, high blood pressure, degenerated spine, and abnormal posture.
His daughter, Paetongtarn Shinawatra, also revealed on social media that Thaksin had recently undergone surgery; however, she did not mention what it was for.
Due to the surgery, the doctors have allowed Thaksin to continue receiving treatment at the hospital. If his stay exceeds 60 days, it will require approval from the permanent secretary for justice, and if it exceeds 120 days, it must be endorsed by the justice minister.