Opinion: Phuket tourist influx and the rise in hospital bills

Opinion: Phuket tourist influx and the rise in hospital bills

PHUKET: During the current ‘restart’ period, the government should consider establishing a system of mandatory, basic healthcare insurance for visiting foreign tourists who lack it while travelling in the Kingdom. As outlined in a recent Phuket Gazette article by Dr Tanwa Apornthip (story here), measures need to be established to authenticate Thailand as a genuine 'world-class' tourist destination. Tourist arrival numbers continue to increase despite considerable setbacks. Let us not forget that more than a decade has passed since one of the best-selling T-shirts at roadside souvenir stalls on the i

Sunday, April 23, 2017 | 07:00 AM

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Opinion: What's next for Laem Singh Beach

Opinion: What's next for Laem Singh Beach

PHUKET: The controversy at Laem Singh Beach is just the latest in a long history of beach access disputes in Phuket, but this case raises so many issues that it is difficult to know where to begin the discussion. Taking power almost three years ago, Gen Prayuth and cohorts correctly made Phuket one of their top priorities, imposing measures to tackle long-standing, corruption-driven problems in the island’s tourism industry. The tuk-tuk mafia, encroachment on national park land and other sins of the past were targeted under the so-called ‘restart’. The government reiterated that all beaches were public property and –

Sunday, April 2, 2017 | 07:00 AM

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Ministry of Farang Affairs: Hibernate during Songkran

Ministry of Farang Affairs: Hibernate during Songkran

PHUKET: The Ministry of Farang Affairs is a one-stop shop where foreigners in Thailand can learn all they need to know about living here. No, we’re not talking about work permits, visas or taxes. We’re talking about day-to-day life in the Land of Endless Shocks and Riddles, of Blur, Befuddlement and the Bizarre. Stay tuned for weekly insights from Minister Stephff. For more from the Ministry of Farang Affairs, visit the Ministry album on the Phuket Gazette Facebook page (here).

Sunday, April 16, 2017 | 11:00 AM

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Opinion: Challenges confronting the new governor

Opinion: Challenges confronting the new governor

PHUKET: The sudden and unexpected transfer to Bangkok of former Phuket Governor Chokchai Dejamornthan (story here) certainly comes as a surprise to many of us in the local media – and once again begs the question of whether a directly-elected governor might be a better option for the province at some point in the future. It goes without saying that any discussion of such a refinement to our democracy might come across as a bit premature at this time, especially given that the exact date of the next national election has yet to be announced. But from a bureaucratic perspective, the ‘lightning transfer’ of the o

Sunday, April 16, 2017 | 07:00 AM

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Gearing up for the Songkran holidays in Phuket

Gearing up for the Songkran holidays in Phuket

PHUKET: The recent death of a ‘ghost riding’ Thai motorcyclist along Thepkrasattri Road in Thalang (story here) should serve as a sobering reminder to all motorists of the need to be on full alert during the upcoming Songkran holiday period. As noted in this space numerous times in the past, Phuket seldom experiences the kind of spikes in road accidents, injuries and fatalities that some other provinces suffer over the Songkran period. The reason for this is pretty obvious when one breaks down annual statistics, both for regular reporting of road accidents as well as during the two annual ‘Seven Days of Dange

Sunday, April 9, 2017 | 07:00 AM

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Ministry of Farang Affairs: Frightened of small animals

Ministry of Farang Affairs: Frightened of small animals

PHUKET: The Ministry of Farang Affairs is a one-stop shop where foreigners in Thailand can learn all they need to know about living here. No, we’re not talking about work permits, visas or taxes. We’re talking about day-to-day life in the Land of Endless Shocks and Riddles, of Blur, Befuddlement and the Bizarre. Stay tuned for weekly insights from Minister Stephff. For more from the Ministry of Farang Affairs, visit the Ministry album on the Phuket Gazette Facebook page (here).

Sunday, April 30, 2017 | 11:00 AM

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