Author Topic: Leicester English teacher abandoned by University Bangkok  (Read 1336 times)

Offline thaiga

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Leicester English teacher abandoned by Kasem Bundit University, Bangkok

A Leicester English teacher’s commitment to his Thai students may cost him his life after falling ill in Bangkok, Thailand and then finding his employer, a private Bangkok university, hadn’t made the obligatory contributions it had been deducting from his salary to the country’s Social Welfare Fund, which guarantees medical cover for all legally employed staff.

After five years teaching at Apex Works in Leicester, Gareth Davies from the village of Glennfield, set off to pursue his desire of teaching English as a second language in Thailand.

About nine months ago the Leicester English teacher accepted an appointment to the department of English language for communications at Kasem Bundit University, one of Thailand’s numerous private universities, to teach English major to undergraduate students.

Though the monthly salary of Bt30,000 (£617 / $US977) was far from extravagant by Bangkok standards, the 47-year-old Leicester English teacher was happy pursuing his goal, even though his employer made him pay the cost of obtaining his own work permit and visa extension.

About one year ago Thai doctors pieced together a wide range of auto-immune-type ailments that had been plaguing Mr Davies for many years and which numerous UK GPS had failed to identify, determining he was suffering from Sclederodema (Systemic Sclerosis) or CREST Syndrome, a connective tissue disease that involves changes in the skin, blood vessels, muscles, and internal organs.

In the wake of an emergency hospital admission towards the end of January the Leicester English teacher announced in an eMail to friends and colleagues titled “what is wrong with me”, that his “heart, kidney, and lungs are also being affected”.

Leicester English teacher’s dedication his downfall

With the Thailand university academic year due to conclude at the end of this month, Mr Davies told friends he hoped to finish his contract in Bangkok and guide his students through their exams, mark final exam papers, and then return to the UK for the high level care he will need.

The Leicester English teacher’s commitment to his work has proved to be his downfall however and on March the second he was rushed from the university unconscious and unable to breath to a private hospital ICU ward.
Well wishes from Leicester English teacher Gareth Davies' students. Photo: John Le Fevre
If was then that the nightmare began in earnest for Mr. Davies.
Thailand labour law is extremely extensive and provides the minimum employment conditions for all employees, including the mandatory contribution to the country’s Social Welfare Fund. Likewise the Thailand Social Welfare Act contains detailed descriptions of what safety net is provided to employees.

It was only after several days in ICU and after Mr Davies’ brother Mick flew to Bangkok, that problems with the Leicester English teacher’s social fund coverage became apparent.

According to Mick Davies, the Bangkok hospital where his brother was first taken provided excellent care, but a few weeks of hospitalization saw the bill sky-rocket to more than Bt250,000 (£5,000 / $US 8,000).

“I was told by the university that Gareth had no Social Welfare Fund cover because he had not been employed for more than a year, though the Thailand Social Security Act says says everyone is covered from the day they start work, or receive their work permit”, Mick said.

Mick said the Leicester English teacher’s students quickly rallied around him and raised more than Bt80,000 (£1.640 / $US2,600), with more than Bt27,000 (£555 / $US880 being raised by the Chair for the department of English communications at Kasem Bundit University

Bit more here

Read more: Leicester English teacher abandoned by Kasem Bundit University, Bangkok
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Leicester English teacher abandoned has died
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 04:47:08 PM »
Leicestershire English teacher Gareth Davies dead – British ambassador defends lack of intervention

Mr Davies was transferred to Bangkok’s Rajavithi Hospital late on Friday afternoon, after days of intense lobbying by Thai and foreign citizens in Bangkok saw the Leicestershire English teacher’s employer, Kasem Bundit University, remit the social welfare contributions it had been deducting from his salary to Thailand’s Social Welfare Fund and settle his hospital bill at the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Medical Centre, some 70km (43 miles) from the heart of Bangkok

However, when Mr Davies arrived at Rajavithi Hospital on Friday evening the hospital was reluctant to admit him as it was unable to confirm his Social Welfare Fund eligibility, setting off a series of late-night telephone calls to Thai government employees, government ministers and officials, with well connected Bangkok businesswoman Patrachit Chotikapanich tapping her extensive network of influential people, resulting in the hospital admitting him late on Friday evening.

At the same time a furious Twitter exchange took place between photo-journ’s newsblog and Mr Ahmad on holiday in London, wherein the diplomat continued to defend the lack of face-to-face consular assistance provided to Mr Davies, saying it was not the responsibility of the British embassy to intervene in these matters.

British Ambassador to Thailand Asif Ahmad. Photo: Courtesy The Muslim News

Ambassador Asif Ahmad: “visits not the only way we help

In one Tweet Mr Ahmad said, “visits not the only way we help 100’s of Brits in hospital”, while in another he said, “we cant ask for better healthcare than that provided by local hospitals. Sadly restraining patients is normal practice here”.

Mr Ahmad went on to claim, “personal care in govt hospital and aftercare is largely left to patient’s family and friends in Thailand and not done by nurses” ( a point disputed by Thai people), later claiming “media focus on case has had a positive influence on the employer. You stepped in an area UK govt cannot intervene.”

When photo-journ’s newsblog visited the Leicestershire English teacher on Sunday afternoon a Rajavithi Hospital resident doctor who cannot be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said Mr Davies was in a “very critical condition” with his prognosis only being “fair”.

Terminal end point for Bangkok hospitals

“He’s obviously been sick for a long time, has been moved from hospital to hospital and it appears his treatment to date has not been entirely appropriate. He’s severely malnourished and his immune system is equivalent to that of a six-month-old baby. The risk of infection is very high”

Describing the ward Mr Davies was admitted to as the “terminal end point for Bangkok hospitals”, the doctor said Rajavithi Hospital’s department of medicine male ward was where other hospitals in Bangkok sent their most seriously ill and complicated cases when they were unable to provide appropriate medical care.

“We’re not unfamiliar with CREST Syndrome and tomorrow I will be consulting with the heart specialists and renal specialists regarding the treatment we will provide. He’s throat is very constricted which means he is not able to swallow food and I’ll also be consulting a surgeon to see if he is strong enough to have a tube inserted directly into his stomach to improve nutritional intake”, he said.

However, before any of these steps could be implemented the Leicestershire English teacher died from cardiac arrest at about 5am Monday (March 26) morning, with the same hospital doctor saying extensive attempts to revive Mr Davies were made, but hospital staff were unable to restart his heart.

Brits & Thai friends outraged over lack of embassy intervention

The death of Mr Davies and the lack proactive intervention by the British Embassy Bangkok has caused outrage and anger amongst Mr Davies’ Thai and foreign friends, all of whom are dismayed at “the least we can do is the least we will do” approach taken.

Ms Chotikapanich said she is appalled at the way the Leicestershire English teacher has been treated by Kasem Bundit University and the British Embassy Bangkok. “Gareth told me he had attempted to reach out to the British Embassy on several occasions, but despite him begging for help they never once visited him.

“Kasem Bundit University should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this situation to go on for so long and I intend to raise this formally with the Ministry of Education, the Office of Higher Education, and the Prime Minister directly. How is Thailand going to attract quality foreign teachers to help us improve our English language skills if employees are treated like this?

“What is the point of having a large embassy compound with hundreds of staff if they refuse to intervene on behalf of their citizens? Is this the service standard that British people expect?” Ms Chotikapanich said.

Read more: Leicestershire English teacher Gareth Davies dead
That is very sad RIP

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


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Re: Leicester English teacher abandoned by University Bangkok
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 06:40:40 PM »
Very sad indeed.

Where's the humanity these days? Rules, rules and stuff the human beings in trouble. Still, we can be grateful that Mr. Ahmad looks healthy and well cared for by the British taxpayer.