A DEADLINE set by Mr. Saengchai “Mor Saeng” Haelerttrakoon for the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicines to certify him as a “folk healer” by Feb. 20 or else he would stop giving out his capsules to the needy public mainly for cancer has been met as he got the required certificate on Feb. 7, various online media reported.
The Deputy Director-General of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicines (DTAM) Dr. Pramote Sathianrat told the media that earlier in that morning, Mr. Saengchai had already submitted the 2 missing documents, with one showing acceptance by 10 or more members of the local community and the other a letter of approval from a community hospital.
On getting all the of required documents, the DTAM Director-General Kiattibhoom Vongrachit signed the certificate making Mr. Saengchai a folk healer.
Upon being asked by a reporter whether the quick issuing was a result of concern over Mr. Saengchai’s deadline to stop handing out herbal tablets, Mr. Pramote clarified that there was no concern since he took the time required for the regular process to go through.
Mr. Saengchai had previously submitted documents and he was waiting for the last 2 documents, he said, adding that he had no intention at all to not grant him the certificate and made everything move really fast so that the director-general could signed it right away.
“As regulated, a certified folk healer has to be followed up periodically to make sure the healer is not providing his/her service commercially and the violation of this or other regulations can result in the certificate being revoked”, said Mr. Pramote.
When asked what kind of folk healing Mr. Saengchai specialized in, Mr. Pramote replied:
“A folk healer does not have specific specialization like in western medical doctors do, but he or she can apply for Thai traditional medicine doctor certificate after earning a particular certificate from corresponding specialist’s institution. An elderly folk healer who might have trouble traveling might be granted a certain certificate using different applicable regulated criteria such as their long collective experience.”
On the same day, Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn also commented on the matter, reassuring to the public that the ministry has always adhered to its regulated process and steps and it has not been affected by any threats or complaints. Everything was done accordingly by the steps in which, for this case, certain documents were still missing. The process continued normally after all required documents were presented.
Regarding the herbal ingredients used, research needed to be conducted to identify the active ingredients and their effects. The public should use their judgment on the fact that cancer is not easily cured and the international communities have already accepted conventional medicine and this should fundamentally be used to treat the patients. Alternative medicine is then a welcomed choice to be used in tandem.
“According to the gathered information, majority of those who lined up for Mor Saeng’s free herbs have gone through the conventional medical approach but were disappointed, so the herbs from Mor Saeng, regardless of the result, gave them hope and made them feel better, which was a good thing, but we should look at the research and find as a definite answer”, said Mr. Piyasakol.
Top: A long queue people waiting for herbal medical capsules at Mor Saeng’s house in Prachin Buri. Photo: Thai Rath
First in-text: Mr. Saengchai “Mor Saeng” Haelerttrakoon. Photo: Matichon
Second in-text: The Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicines Deputy Director-General Dr. Pramote Sathianrat. Photo: Matichon
Third in-text: Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn. Photo: Matichon
By Piboon Awasdaruharote