Bangkok Hospital has lost a Civil Court case brought by six members of the terminated Life Privilege Club. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)
The Civil Court has ordered Bangkok Hospital to resume health services for six members of the Life Privilege Club and pay their court expenses.
In exchange for a lump-sum payment of one million baht – reportedly later raised to 1.5 million – Club members were entitled to discounted medical treatment for life.
The decision was handed down on Wednesday after a court battle between Juthathip Sanitphan and five other plaintiffs who sued Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Plc (BDMS), the company that operates Bangkok Hospital and other hospitals, after the firm terminated the programme on Jan 20.
The six petitioners had subscribed to the ‘lifetime’ service programme at Bangkok Hospital and decided to take the case to the court. They called for the hospital to re-open services on the 15th floor of Building D with medical personnel to take care of them.
The court said in the ruling that BDMS must honour the conditions in the programme advertised in its brochures by continuing to provide services to the six plaintiffs.
Bangkok Hospital was ordered to pay each of them 20,000 baht for their lawyers’ fees and 5,000 baht for court costs amassed since the case was accepted on June 9.
It was further ordered to pay the fifth plaintiff 69,859.50 baht and the sixth petitioner 46,909 baht, with a 7.5% annual interest rate applied from June 9.
The names of the two plaintiffs and the reason for the payment order were not revealed.
Mrs Juthathip, who paid 1 million baht for the scheme at Bangkok Hospital in 2002, said she was satisfied with the ruling and hoped it would set a precedent that all hospitals must honour the conditions of agreements made with customers.
The Life Privilege Club also offers services to members at Phyathai Hospital 2, which is also operated by BDMS.
On Jan 20 this year, the company announced that was scrapping the programme for legal reasons, saying it could be considered an insurance programme that BDMS is not authorised to operate.
In a letter to members, it said it would repay the subscription price, plus 10% per annum interest applied from the first day they joined the club until Jan 20, 2017.
The programme has 300 members, about 100 of whom are suing the company for the same reasons.