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Phuket island medical hub in the works

Phuket island medical hub in the works

PHUKET: Prince of Songkla University is pushing to make Phuket a medical hub capable of providing high-quality treatments for locals and tourists.

By Bangkok Post

Saturday 17 October 2020, 11:47AM

Pun: Looking to improve services. Photo: Bangkok Post

Pun: Looking to improve services. Photo: Bangkok Post

Pun Thongchumnum, vice president of the university, told a forum yesterday (Oct 16) the university is planning to develop the province into a medical hub and attract residents and tourists seeking treatment, reports Bangkok Post.

The forum was being held at a hotel in the province, attended by a broad spectrum of people.

If approved by the cabinet, Mr Pun said the project would develop treatments of complex conditions such as cancer and cardiac arrest. It would also train physicians capable of administering the treatments.

If the plan goes ahead, locals in Phuket and the Andaman coastal provinces could be treated near their homes as provincial health centres are not able to handle them presently.

The project also aims to reduce the cost of treatments and transport for patients.

As a medical hub, Phuket would aim to stimulate the economy by attracting foreign visitors seeking medical treatment.

Mr Pun said Phuket would also be made ready to handle the kingdom’s ageing population, who will need more medical care.

The Management Innovation Development Center (MIDC) is studying the plan and will decide on further action. Attendees of the forum will be given opportunities to voice their opinions on the project.

Mr Pun explained that the project is divided into four parts: a university hospital that provides tertiary care and high-tech treatment with long-distance medical transport for foreign patients; a global-standard dental hospital; a wellness centre for elderly care, sports therapy and traditional treatment; and a medical school to produce doctors, pharmacists, nurses, traditional doctors and medical laboratory scientists.

The university will propose a budget for the project during a mobile cabinet meeting in the province scheduled for Nov 2 and 3.

Mr Pun said the university will work with Vachira Phuket Hospital while its staffers take up medical education and improve treatment methods for complex diseases.

Asst Prof Theerawat Hungsapruek, dean of the university’s Faculty of Management Sciences, said 9,036 locals have taken 13,542 flights to other regions for advanced medical treatment.

In 2030, 19% of Thailand’s population will be ageing, while in 2050, the country will be classified as an ageing society, he said.

This is an indication that Thailand desperately needs to train more physicians and care workers, as well as procure more and better medical equipment to prepare for this situation.

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DeKaaskopp | 20 October 2020 - 11:43:01

They should scrap the idea. Serial whinging expats  on  here are obviously not interested in improvements. 

LALALA | 19 October 2020 - 17:55:51

correct Goldwing, and than you pay double for the 1.5 tesla machine for one scan than for a package scan of 2 in many other countries, I had that experience 2-3 years ago... Phuket a medical hub is a joke, overpriced, no service, only blabla and smiles. I not pay for smiles, I pay for skills and proper diagnostics.

goldwing | 19 October 2020 - 11:35:58

Hospitals in Bangkok also use 3 Tesla MRI machines, in Phuket they only have 1.5 Tesla machines

goldwing | 19 October 2020 - 11:10:12

Kurt, no Hospial on Phuket can provide Radiation treatment or a PET scan, only hospitals in Bangkok can do that, so why bother going to a basic provincial hospital ,when you can get treatment all in one place, regardless of pricing, qualifications.  

Kurt | 19 October 2020 - 08:41:45

Foreign Insurances have a strong position. It are them who at the end pay the Phuket hospital bills of their ( foreign) patients. Time foreign insurances demand transparent info of Thai medical professional qualifications/standards ( diplomas, degrees, skills).  Demand international qualification level to be proved.

Kurt | 18 October 2020 - 15:56:28

@JohnC + Goldwing, A regimental job to be done by foreign insurance firms, to investigate competence, quality and price setting of medical 'works' on Phuket.  For once the other way around to demand matters.  No reason to accept their superior bluff stand, pinch through it and demand qualification proof ( diplomas. degrees, price difference between thai and foreigner) 

JohnC | 18 October 2020 - 09:36:39

First thing you have to do to make that work is stopped double pricing for expats and foreigners. No one likes being cheated or ripped off. 

goldwing | 17 October 2020 - 13:51:24

Needs something to replace the useless cancer diagnostics and treatment at existing hospitals in phuket

Fascinated | 17 October 2020 - 12:19:15

Ahh, Phuket- the hub of hubs. I've lost track.


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