Assoc Prof Dr Phan Thongchumnum, Deputy Dean of Prince of Songkla University (PSU), Phuket Campus, confirmed the news, saying the hospital is now expected to be complete by 2027.
Project organisers have already found a contractor and are reviewing the design, which is expected to be completed within eight months, Dr Phan said.
“If everything goes as planned; the construction will start within the next budget year [starting Oct 1, 2023]. The construction is expected to be completed in 2027,” he added.
Initially, the hospital was planned with 300 beds, but with the budget received the hospital will now be expanded to 500 beds, Dr Phan noted.
According to a recommendation from Cabinet, the hospital will accept only patients with complicated diseases who are transferred from government hospitals.
“There are patients with complicated diseases in the Andaman provinces of Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga being transferred from Vachira Phuket Hospital, the main government hospital in the area, to the PSU Hospital in Hat Yai for treatment,” Dr Phan said.
Recent figures recorded 13,500 patient transfers from Vachira, accounting for 9,000 patients, in just the past year, he said.
“This means there are some patients who were repeatedly transferred [from Vachira to Hat Yai]. This shows that we need to have a hospital capable of supporting these people,” Dr Phan explained.
The hospital is to be built as part of the International Andaman Health Center, which Cabinet last year approved a total budget of B5.116bn to complete, with the budget allocated to be spent from 2023-2027.
“The International Health College will help to create medical manpower, and will include PSU Phuket Hospital, which will accept patients with complicated diseases, as well as the Digital Dental Center, a Thai traditional medicine and a Medical Science Center, which will be the health checkup and screening lab, as well as a centre providing health advice to people to interntaional standards,” Dr Phan explained.
“The centre will build confidence in medical care among locals and tourists visiting Thailand and provinces in the Andaman region,” he said.
He noted that PSU Phuket is preparing for the upcoming hospital by opening the international program of the Faculty of Medicine, of which one class has graduated already. The second class is currently underway.
The PSU Phuket campus is also providing an international program under the Faculty of Nursing as well, which also has already produced graduates. In addition, the PSU Phuket campus offers 25 programs for qualifying in specific specialised areas of medical expertise.
‒ Kritsada Mueanhawong
Kurt | 17 March 2023 - 10:07:29