Grabbing headlines recently is an image making rounds on social media platforms, purported to show former Preeminent Minister Thaksin Shinawatra being transported from his room at the Police General Hospital to undertake a CT and MRI scan. This development took place on Friday and sparked widespread discussions.
Addressing the situation ahead of his departure to Phitsanulok on Saturday, Premier Srettha Thavisin backed the Corrections Department which was in the line of fire, suspected to accord preferential treatment to the incarcerated ex-leader, Thaksin Shinawatra. He affirmed that he had seen the viral photo featuring the former Preeminent Minister and was confident that there wasn’t any disparity in the way the department was handling all the detainees.
Mr. Srettha was commenting on the Friday photo that had made waves on social media, seeming to depict Thaksin in a hospital gown and mask, lying on a stretcher, with two individuals striking a resemblance to his daughters standing by his side.
Confirming the identity of the man in the photo as none other than Thaksin, Sahakan Phetnarin, the director-general of the department, announced on Saturday that he had been moved from his hospital room for a CT and MRI scan. The chief of the Bangkok Remand Prison, as per Mr. Sahakan, furnished a report stating that Thaksin was safely taken for the procedures consuming approximately an hour, as directed by his medical personnel.
While Mr. Sahakan confirmed Thaksin’s safety, he refrained from providing extensive details regarding Thaksin’s health status, attributing it to confidentiality. Thaksin, now 74 years old, landed in Thailand after a self-imposed exile that lasted 15 years. His return came on Aug 22, the same day when the Supreme Court decreed an eight-year prison sentence for Thaksin over three separate lawsuits. However, Thaksin was immediately moved from the Bangkok Remand Prison to the Police General Hospital citing health matters, where he has remained since.
Thaksin’s eight-year imprisonment reduced to one year following the extension of a Royal pardon by His Majesty the King. Mr. Sahakan disclosed that Thaksin’s family was granted visitation rights to get abreast with the medical treatment their patriarch was receiving. Nevertheless, Mr. Sahakan voiced that Thaksin’s doctors have yet to indicate whether their patient’s stay at the Police General Hospital will persist, or if he will be moved back. He insisted these recommendations were mandatory as Thaksin’s prolonged stay was to end on Oct 22.
Should the stay extend beyond 120 days for medical assistance and treatment, the scenario needs to be conveyed to the justice minister, he added. The only ambiguity falls on the details of Thaksin’s health treatment. Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew batted away speculations on Saturday by asserting that he holds no knowledge of Thaksin’s medical treatment, expressing confidence that legal protocols were being adhered to in tackling the situation.