Medical Council asked to probe two members for alleged improper conduct

Alcohol watch and health activist groups on Wednesday petitioned Medical Council president Dr Prasit Wattanapa to investigate two council members for their alleged improper conduct toward a regional representative of the World Health Organization at a public hearing on March 31.

In an open letter addressed to Dr Prasit, the activist groups alleged that the two council members, Dr Cherdchu Ariyasriwattana and Dr Orapan Methadilokkul, interrupted Dr Daniel A. Kertesz, WHO representative in Thailand, while he was making a comment without asking for a permission from the moderator of the hearing, Mr Warasit Kanchanasut.

They said Dr Kertesz was allowed to speak for about five minutes by Mr Warasit and the former had just spoken about a minute when he was interrupted by the two doctors who pressed their microphones to speak.

They quoted Dr Cherdchu as saying that the public hearing on Thai Health Promotion Foundation bill was a domestic affair and had nothing to do with WHO or foreign countries. She questioned why the WHO representative chose to speak at this forum as there were many other forums that he should have expressed his views.

Dr Orapan was reported to have said that allowing a non-Thai to speak at the forum might invalidate the public hearing and might constitute an interference in Thailand's domestic affairs.

The groups pointed out that there was no rule banning foreigners from expressing their views at the forum and also Thailand is a member of WHO.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)