B34m needed to cover medical costs of foreign prisoners

B34m needed to cover medical costs of foreign prisoners

Prisoners treatment at the Medical Correctional Hospital in Bangkok. The Corrections Department is seeking financial assistance to treat foreign inmates. (File photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Prisoners treatment at the Medical Correctional Hospital in Bangkok. The Corrections Department is seeking financial assistance to treat foreign inmates. (File photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Corrections Department is seeking 34 million baht from the Office of Narcotics Control Board to cover the cost of medical treatment for about 9,600 foreign inmates.

Pol Lt Col Prawut Wongsrinil, deputy director-general of the department, said on Monday the foreigners were in prison for drug offences and most were from from Cambodia, Laos or Myanmar. Their illnesses must be treated to prevent transmission to other inmates, he said.

Assistance from the National Health Security Office did not cover foreign prisoners. The Corrections Department had asked the prisoners' own governments for assistance through their embassies. They  replied that Thailand had to provide medical treatment itself, in line with international practice, Pol Lt Col Prawut said.

Therefore, the department turned to the narcotics prevention and suppression fund of the ONCB, which was considering the matter, he said.

Treatment of foreign inmates cost about 3,600 baht per person per year. Some needed surgery, which cost 100,000-200,000 baht a time, further increasing the overall cost, he said.

The Corrections Department had previously sought help from the Police General Hospital, but was aware the request placed a burden on the hospital, Pol Lt Col Prawut said. 


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