Grinding teeth over dual prices

After being charged 800 to 1,000 baht per filling, I asked my friend to call the same dentist the same day to ask what their charges were. The answer was about 500 per filling. It is the same at the boxing stadium at Saphan Hin. Where can one file complaints about dual pricing?

Robbed, Phuket.

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The usual office to complain to about products or services is the Office of the Consumer Protection Board in Bangkok (Hotline: 1166; Email: [email protected]; or Tel: 02-6297048-50 or 02-6297061-3, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday).

However, complaints involving medical, including dental, practitioners are passed on to the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) on Narison Rd in Phuket City. The PPHO is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, or can be contacted at Tel: 076-211330 ext 204 or 205.

We have several staff members who speak English.

There are no price control regulations governing medical practitioners. Also, claims like this are difficult to investigate as in most cases the customer was notified of the fee in advance. Also, different prices are charged for different treatments. For example, a front tooth filling and a wisdom tooth extraction are totally different prices.

We can only raise the issue with the Dental Council or Medical Council for investigation. We cannot fine them or withdraw their practicing certificates. We can ask that such be action only if a dentist or doctor has used inappropriate treatment that has endangered the health of the patient or caused the patient harm. We cannot take action over prices charged.

Wanchai Sattayawuthipong, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO).

Answered on February 26, 2007.
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