Jailed former premier Thaksin Shinawatra underwent orthopaedic surgery on Monday at the Police General Hospital (PGH) although it remains unclear how long his recovery will take, which will keep him out of prison for a while longer, according to the Department of Corrections.
Sahakarn Petnarin, deputy justice permanent secretary and acting director-general of the department, said yesterday the Bangkok Remand Prison (BRP) informed the department of the procedure.
Citing a BRP report, the depart- ment said Thaksin underwent surgery on Monday at 9am and was later transferred to the hospital's Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for recovery at 2pm.
Mr Sahakarn said Thakin's post-surgery condition was being assessed, which will determine how long he will remain at the PGH.
The ex-premier was admitted to the hospital from the BRP hours after returning on Aug 22 from 15 years of self-imposed exile. Thaksin is not the only prisoner allowed to receive medical treatment outside the prison for this long, said the department.
Since Oct 1 last year, 149 inmates have received medical treatment outside prison. Of them, 115 were outside prison for more than 30 days, another 30 stayed for more than 60 days, while a further four were allowed to stay outside for over 120 days, said the department.
Meanwhile, political activist Srisuwan Janya petitioned the Medical Council of Thailand (MCT) to investigate whether doctors at the PGH were allegedly helping Thaksin fake his illnesses to justify his stay outside the prison.
Mr Srisuwan said he wants the MCT to find out whether medical opinions given by doctors about Thaksin's conditions, which have led to him being granted an extended stay at the PGH, meet professional standards.