(14 November) A 22 year-old university student who claimed to be plastic surgeon has been arrested as a part of the police crackdown on unlicensed medical clinics in Bangkok.
Ms. Natchanan Bhitakchaikorn, the owner of ‘Pulchala Clinic’, was arrested after she claimed on her website that she is a specialist in the beauty business. She is now facing charges of counterfeiting her documents and computer crimes for posting her false information online, police said.
Mr. Tharit Pengdit, Chief of the Division of Special Investigation (DSI), said Ms. Natchanan used fake license and fake graduation certification to present herself as a professional cosmetic surgeon.
According to Mr. Tharit, Ms. Natchanan was only a sophomore student at a private university in Bangkok who is currently struggling with her family financial issue.
Minister of Public Health Pradith Sintawanarong, MD, told our correspondent that there are 10,695 medical institutions run by the state authorities, and over 18,000 private-run establishments registered to the Ministry. In October 2010 – September 2013, 30 unlicensed medical facilities have been reported to the authorities.
Illegal operation of medical or cosmetic establishment carries a penalty of 3 year imprisonment maxmimum, and no more than 30,000 baht fine, whereas the unlicensed physicians must face 3 years in prison and 30,000 baht fine, said Mr. Tharit, the director of DSI. Meanwhile, the surgeon with counterfeited certificates will face 3 years in prison and no more than 6,000 baht fine.
Unlicensed cosmetic treatments have resulted in injuries and deaths of the patients in recent years.
Mr. Pradith added that those who are considering cosmetic or beauty surgery should check whether their preferred cosmetic medical institutions are properly registered via www.hss.moph.go.th, and those who wish to report about unlicensed medical establishment are advised to contact the authorities at 090-1231230.
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