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On July 12th it was reported that a news reporter named Pichet Klowtanom posted a message to his Facebook page pertaining to an incident where an ambulance was refused passage on the Seatran ferry to transport an accident victim to Thaksin hospital in Surat Thani. The post very quickly went viral.
The ambulance was transporting Mr Wong Att Kraichoke, a 17 year old student of the College of Business Administration Certificate 3 in Koh Samui, who was involved in a school bus collision with a truck in Ban Tai on July 9th. He was rushed to Bandon hospital with sever head and neck injuries. After receiving treatment at the hospital, doctors advised that the boy would require surgery at Thaksin hospital in Surat Thani and scheduled the operation for July 13th.
Initially the hospital booked the 1pm Seatran crossing to the mainland but when doctors advised that the ambulance would need to drive a lot slower than normal due to the nature of the patient’s injuries they decided to bring their journey forward as driving at a speed above 15 kilometers per hour would cause vibrations that could further injure the patient.
On arrival at the pier a request was made to the Seatran staff to join an earlier queue in order to get the boy to the hospital in a safe manner but the request was refused. They were told the booking could not be changed. The ambulance staff then took the boy to the Raja ferry where the staff put him straight onto the ferry with no delay or booking.
Seatran ferry has since published an apology to the parents and hospital staff about the incident and in response to the huge outcry on social media sites.