Thai hospital evacuates patients
Stormed by protesters:
THAILAND: A major hospital in the Thai Capital evacuated most
of its patients Friday after anti-government “Red Shirt” protesters
stormed inside in the mistaken belief that troops were hiding there.
Chulalongkorn Hospital also stopped receiving outpatients following
the Thursday night incident, in which some 100 Red Shirt guards searched
its buildings for troops they feared were readying a crackdown.
Tensions are high in Bangkok following the worst political violence
in almost two decades which has left 27 people dead and almost 1,000
injured this month in a series of bloody confrontations.
The 1,400-bed hospital sent most of its patients to 10 other
facilities in Bangkok and was considering how to cope with the
protesters occupying a large part of the city’s nearby commercial
district, a spokeswoman said. “For outpatients, if their symptoms are
not serious we asked them to postpone treatment,” the spokeswoman said.
A Red Shirt leader publicly apologised Friday, saying guards told
demonstration leaders that they saw soldiers inside the hospital located
near one of their main barricades.
“On behalf of all leaders, I apologise to the public and
Chulalongkorn Hospital for the incident,” Weng Tojirakarn said. “The
situation got out of control.
“It is not our policy to obstruct hospital operations.”
Thailand’s Medical Council slammed the Reds’ action and asked
protesters to respect medical personnel. “All parties must refrain from
exploiting hospital grounds for political gain,” the council said in a
statement. The Reds who want immediate elections to replace Prime
Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government have periodically clashed with
security forces during their occupation of sections of the Thai capital
for the past month.
BANGKOK, Friday, AFP