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MALPRACTICE BILL Tug of war continues

By The NationPublished on September 16, 2010


Both supporters and opponents of the Medical Malpractice Victim Protection Bill sought ways to push their ideas forward yesterday.


As Medical Malpractice Victim Network's chairpersonPreeyanan Lorsermwattana called on Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit to push the legislation of the bill forward, the Federation of Healthcare Workforce of Thailand (FHWT) handed a letter over to the government chief whip Witthaya Kaewparadai urging him to postpone deliberation of the bill.
Many doctors have been attacking the bill, saying it contained many flaws and would hurt patient-doctor relations. Strong opposition from doctors has put the legislation of the bill on hold, and the ministry set up a panel to work out the differences last month.
"The panel has not yet convened a meeting," Preeyanancomplained yesterday. "We feel the bill is being delayed."
"I've heard that the panel will meet next week," Jurin said, adding that the job of overseeing the panel had been given to the ministry's permanent secretary Dr Paijit Warachit.
Preeyanan also voiced concerns about the fact that opponents of the bill had been campaigning very seriously over the past month.
FHWT representative Dr Cherdchu Ariyasriwattana yesterday showed up at Parliament House to submit a petition to Witthaya asking him to put the deliberation of the bill on the hold. FHWT and its allies have challenged the bill with another draft law called the Health Service-Affected People Protection Bill. This draft law has already been submitted to the Parliament president.
Up to 15,007 people have reportedly put their names down in support of the draft law, but relevant authorities will have to first verify the signatures before making any further moves.
The petition to Witthaya was yesterday submitted via Phitsanulok MP Dr Warong Dejkijwikrom.
Warong promised to table the FHWT request before the government whip's meeting.
"We are concerned about the controversy stemming from the Medical Malpractice Victim Protection Bill," he said.

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