A seriously ill Leicestershire English teacher in Thailand, Gareth Davies, has phoned friends and relatives begging to be transferred from the provincial hospital he is warded in, complaining of neglect and abuse by hospital staff.
Mr Davies, from the Leicestershire village of Glennfield, accepted a teaching position at Kasem Bundit University last year, but when he fell ill earlier this month with CREST Syndrome, a connective tissue disease that affects the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs, he found that his employer had not made the necessary contributions to the country’s Social Welfare Fund, despite deducting his share of contributions from his salary. (See: Leicestershire English teacher abandoned by Kasem Bundit University).
A fellow Leicestershire businessman in Bangkok and friend of Mr Davies said he received a late-night telephone call last night (March 21) from the Leicestershire English teacher, begging to be moved from the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Medical Centre in Nakon Nayok, about 70km from Bangkok, due to continued abuse and neglect by hospital staff.
Wishing to be only identified by the name of Jason, the man said, “Gareth was almost in tears begging to be moved from the current hospital. He said the nursing staff ignore his requests for assistance and one male nurse in particular is hurting him”.
Photo-journ’s newsblog spoke to the Leicestershire English teacher by telephone this morning and found Mr Davies to be extremely distressed and close to tears. Mr Davies confirmed the information relayed by Jason and added more details to the litany of abuse and neglect he has been subjected to at the hospital, in a country that trades heavily on its “Land of Smiles” and “Miracle Thailand” tourism slogans to attract more than 12 million foreign tourists annually.
Tied to the bed & left in the toilet for 3 hours
According to Mr Davies he has been left abandoned in the hospital toilet for three-hours or more on more than one occasion after attempting to use the facilities unaided; was left lying on the floor after falling while attempting to get up out of his bed; and “was jumped on by four or five staff and dragged back to the bed and tied to it with strips of cotton for more than four hours” when he attempted to drag himself to a convenience store in the hospital grounds to buy ice to drink, after his repeated requests were ignored by nursing staff.
“Please, please help me to get out of here. It’s horrible. I’m scared at night because the staff just laugh at me or ignore me whenever I ask them for something”, the Leicestershire English teacher said.
The latest complaints follow a disturbing eMail circulated by students of Mr Davies who visited him last weekend and found the ordinarily cheerful Leicestershire English teacher depressed and despondent.
Not bathed for 3 or 4 days
In the eMail sent to fellow students who have been using their own funds to support Mr Davies’ stay in hospital, one student said: “He is lonely and sad and said that [the] nurses are cruel. He hasn’t bathed for 3-4 days because there is no one [to] help him.
“The nurses replied when were asked (sic) that he should have done it by himself, there is a chair inside the bathroom to sit. But Garf (the name Mr Davies is known by to his students) said that he was afraid of falling down and couldn’t stand up.
“His bed sheet was stained with something brown, I asked [the] nurses to change it but they just put the other cloth over (sic).
“I think he couldn’t have Thai food at that hospital at all (sic). Yesterday was fried rice with “Kapi”, a kind of fermented little shrimp. He had only a little cup of banana cake I brought, which wasn’t good for heart disease because of the high potassium and he could have a little piece of apple.
“The apple and beverage you took him last week weren’t touched as no one will prepare something for him such as open the package or cut in little pieces for him (sic).”
It is understood that friends of Mr Davies who received the eMail on Monday filed a formal complaint with the Ministry of Public Health, though no action seems to have been taken to alleviate his suffering.
For Mr Davies brother Mick, the latest information is almost to much to bear. Forced to return to his home in Devon after spending his life savings on his brothers hospital bills to date, Mick said the information being passed to him reinforces all of the fears he has regarding his brothers care and well-being in Thailand.
“I’m at my wits end and penniless after paying the hospital bills and flying out to see him earlier this month”, the Student Union employee at UC Plymouth Marjon said.
Back-flip by Kasem Bundit University
The latest turn of events follows a back-flip by Kasem Bundit University, which yesterday advised a friend and former employer of Mr Davies that the Leicestershire English teacher’s social welfare coverage would commence as of yesterday.
The friend, a well connected Bangkok businesswoman familiar with the requirements of the Social Welfare Fund and its application to foreign staff, is understood to have challenged the university’s offer, insisting that Mr Davies should be covered from the day his work permit was issued by Thailand’s Ministry of Labour.
Wishing to be identified only by the initials PC, the businesswoman, who is also the director of a British national curriculum program at a major Thailand university employing more than a dozen foreign teachers, said she explained in detail how the Social Welfare Fund operates and shortly later a Kasem Bundit University employee phoned again and said the Leicestershire English teacher’s social welfare coverage would indeed be backdated to when his work permit was issued, October 17, 2011 – something that is believed to have cost the university around ¬£16.88 ($US22.35) in late contribution penalties. ( Continues … )
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Get me out of here pleads Leicestershire English teacher Gareth Davies,
He is currently deputy editor and Thailand / GMS region editor for The Establishment Post
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