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  • NEWS

    Foreigners strain Thai hospitals

    Published on 20/08/2013

    » Yet another report, this time from 7News Corporation in Australia, is complaining that public hospitals in Thailand face increasing financial burdens as more and more Australians, mostly male and under 30, are travelling without proper insurance. One public hospital in Phuket says last year there was an accumulation of 4 million baht in unpaid debts. Public hospitals tend to become dumping grounds for sick foreigners who cannot afford to pay the high tariffs in top-notch private institutions. A similar story was reported by public hospitals in Chonburi Province last year. The government reportedly is looking at imposing compulsory insurance packages for all expats and tourists to Thailand, although the complexity of the detail is said to be stalling implementation. One obvious problem is that elderly tourists and expats may be excluded from becoming insured because of pre-existing conditions or prohibitively-expensive premiums.

  • NEWS

    Bullying goes ballistic

    Published on 20/08/2013

    » A 10-year-old student bullied a kindergarten pupil, forcing the younger girl to eat faeces and toilet cleaner at their Najomtien school. The incident arose when the three-year-old was unable or unwilling to provide the older girl with “protection money.” The father and grandmother of the abused child took her to hospital for x-rays and treatment. Parents of the 10-year-old said their daughter had not shown violent tendencies at home, but they apologized for the grisly incident. The abusing child has since been moved from the school. The Ministry of Social Development announced that the school in question had been ordered to put CCTV cameras in some classrooms and in the restrooms at the front and back of the building.

  • NEWS

    Crowd control training in Banglamung

    Published on 20/08/2013

    » <p>Banglamung police station organized a demonstration of crowd control in the event that civil disorder should break out locally. The precaution came in the wake of the imposition of emergency police powers in Bangkok&#8211;which ultimately were not needed&#8211;in the event of large-scale demonstrations against the current government.</p>

  • NEWS

    Tourist Police clean up

    Published on 20/08/2013

    » Nearly 50 locals were apprehended by Pattaya Tourist Police in a round-up of undesirable characters who are said to besmirch the image of the city. These detained included 22 transvestites ostensibly soliciting tourists for sex whilst in reality preparing to rob them, and a large number of beggars, mostly Cambodian, who are illegal aliens believed to handicap a good tourist environment.

  • NEWS

    Traffic woes on the agenda

    Published on 20/08/2013

    » <p>The area’s ever-increasing traffic jams were on the agenda at a meeting of the Social Advisory Board of the Tourism Industry at the Natural Park Resort in Pattaya.  Proposed solutions ranged from posting more and clearer road signs and increasing the level of public transportation to improving rubbish collections from public areas. The finger of blame for Pattaya traffic problems was pointed at the ever-rising popularity of Pattaya as a resort destination.</p>

  • NEWS

    Bali Hai pier under repair

    Published on 21/08/2013

    » <p>Owing to damage to the dock area, Bali Hai pier is currently out of action as regards vehicles planning to bring passengers for the onward sea journey to Koh Larn. For the moment, buses and cars are requested to use the trash-docking pier to offload those wishing to proceed to neighboring islands.</p>

  • NEWS

    Top investigators plan Pattaya crime office

    Published on 21/08/2013

    » The Department of Special Investigation (DSI), having recently opened a branch at Phuket airport, has promised later to extend its presence to Pattaya.

  • NEWS

    New satellite to monitor coastal weather

    Published on 21/08/2013

    » <p>A new computer system and radar station GISTDA has been installed to help predict monsoons and storms arriving via the Gulf of Thailand. The system proved especially useful during the recent oil-slick spread near Koh Samet, when the satellite was able to check weather changes which would affect the movement of the oil. That enabled local defence teams to make the best preparations in anticipation of the pollution.</p>

  • NEWS

    Warning about Thai tourism

    Published on 03/09/2013

    » The Thai Chamber of Commerce has warned that Thailand is in danger of losing out to Malaysia and Singapore in the battle to attract tourists. Aat Pisanwanich, a director, said that other ASEAN countries had improved their tourist and hospitality profiles while Thailand appeared to be standing still. “Foreign visitors are less satisfied than they once were with the Siamese Smile,” he said whilst adding that some front-line staff tended to look displeased. He suggested that the service industry in Thailand  should concentrate on improving staff attitudes or risk losing many visitors in the future. Other suggestions were to improve the language skills of staff, not only in English but in Japanese and Chinese as well. If these improvements were made, the Chamber concluded, Thailand could well draw up to 34 million tourists a year by the end of this decade with their revenue of 1.65 trillion baht contributing over 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Currently Malaysia attracts slightly more than the 22 million visitors to Thailand at 25 million with Singapore next at 14 million.

  • NEWS

    Too many foreign tramps

    Published on 03/09/2013

    » According to the Issarachon Foundation, there are now 200 or so foreigners roaming the streets and beaches in Thailand, unable to pay for their daily living costs or their airfare home. The main reason, according to the charity, is the increasing number of aliens who have registered property in the name of their Thai wife and then been ejected to fend for themselves. Natee Saravari, secretary-general of the Foundation, said that it was not uncommon to see Europeans sorting through the trash at fast food restaurants looking for something to eat or begging on beachfront areas. He added that whilst most Thai homeless people have some form of mental illness, most destitute farang are alcoholics. There are thought to be about 50 homeless foreign men in Pattaya, living mostly in beach areas and eating at one or two charitable institutions which don’t turn them away. Embassy sources say they mostly have expired visas or lost passports and can no longer receive cash handouts from diplomatic sources. Consular officers will contact relatives on request for financial assistance. If that fails, the general advice is to give themselves up for overstay. They will remain in prison pending often lengthy arrangements by their respective embassy to fly them home. Once returned, they will normally be deprived of their passport pending repayment of the airfare.

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