Convicted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is currently the sole in-patient from prison being treated at the Police General Hospital, according to a statement made on Friday by a House committee chairman who visited the facility.
During a visit, Democrat MP Chaichana Detdacho, chair of the House of Representatives committee on police affairs, informed journalists that it is the Department of Corrections’ responsibility to address speculation about Thaksin’s presence at the hospital.
When asked if he believed the former prime minister was still recovering at the hospital, Chaichana declined to comment.
“You have to ask the Department of Corrections. It’s the duty of the Department of Corrections to confirm it. I can’t answer that. I saw only officials (working there),” the politician stated.
Chaichana reported to the media that during his visit to the 14th floor of the hospital, where it is believed Thaksin is being accommodated, he observed eight officials on duty.
This included three officers from the Pathum Wan Police Station, responsible for the area, alongside three Special Branch police officers, and two representatives from the Department of Corrections.
The MP learned that teams of officials rotate in 24-hour shifts at the hospital, with a requirement to update their supervisors every two hours via the Line chat app.
Chaichana noted that the hospital rooms used by prison inmates are not locked, allowing officers to enter as needed.
During an educational tour of the hospital on Friday, Chaichana and other committee members were briefed about the treatment of inmates from prisons.
“I learned that Thaksin Shinawatra is the only inmate who is an in-patient at the hospital. Others do not stay overnight there,” Chaichana said.
He explained that his committee visited the hospital to verify Thaksin’s presence but must also comply with laws like the Personal Data Protection Act.
Authorities have withheld specifics about Thaksin’s hospital treatment, citing his rights and privacy protection.
Chaichana revealed that his committee requested documentation from the Department of Corrections about Thaksin, including his treatment and hospital stay records, expecting a response within the month.
He also mentioned learning from Pol Maj-General Samart Muangsiri, a senior doctor, that the hospital’s security cameras have been non-functional for over a year due to budget constraints.
Chaichana urged Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to address the issue of the inoperative security cameras, estimating a 2-5 million baht cost for replacement.
Thaksin, a key figure in the Pheu Thai Party, was transferred from Bangkok Remand Prison to the Police General Hospital shortly after his return to Thailand. His extended hospital stay has raised questions about his health and allegations of special treatment.