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Hospitals close to collapse: Thai official


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Hospitals close to collapse: official

By THE NATION

 

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Health permanent secretary reveals efforts to improve service.
 

PUBLIC HEALTH Ministry permanent secretary Dr Sukhum Kanchanapimai yesterday admitted that the country's hospitals were overwhelmed, following an outspoken doctor's comment that the condition was "close to collapse".

 

Sukhum told a press conference in Nonthaburi province yesterday that crowded conditions were a reality and the bed occupation rate in many big hospitals was beyond full capacity. 

 

To tackle this long-standing issue of crowding in hospitals, the ministry has developed ideas to lessen the problems including creating healthcare zones for better management and service arrangements. 

 

Different roles are being assigned to hospitals of different levels: centre and general hospitals would treat patients with complicated ailments, while community hospitals would help in taking care of patients. Many middle- and small-sized community hospitals have been merged and upgraded for better administration, Sukhum said. 

 

In primary healthcare, there are the “Mor Krob Krua” (family doctor) clinics, tambon-level health promotion hospitals, “Or Sor Mor” public health volunteers and the district health boards, he added. 

 

The new direction of the healthcare system would lay emphasis on promoting accurate health information to the public to help them take care of their own and their families’ health, he said. It would also focus on development of the primary healthcare system so that it becomes easy to access and can seamlessly pass on serious cases to hospitals with higher capacity before sending them back for further recovery to community hospitals once their condition was not deemed critical.

 

There would also be a long-term healthcare system for dependent elderly people and the disabled, he added.

 

Earlier, Dr Thiravat Hemachudha of the Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre at Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok, posted photos on Facebook of a crowded ward at an unidentified hospital in the Northeast. He said one ward was handling 70 to 80 patients when it was only designed for 28. There are two healthcare teams per ward – a staff doctor, two R1 and R3 resident doctor-students, an intern, an ex-tern medical student and one or two senior medical students – and they divide the 70 to 80 cases between them, he said. 

 

On one afternoon under his watch, 42 new patients were admitted to a single ward, he said. “We are reaching near-sinking point. Despite our best efforts to keep rowing, the ship will soon sink,” he wrote. “Instead of criticising the treatment, people should accept the truth of this current ‘near-collapse’ condition.”

 

Overcrowding at some hospitals in the Northeast has resulted in complaints about overworked staff verbally chastising people seeking treatment.

 

One elderly woman seeking free treatment under the universal healthcare scheme was twice told at Khon Kaen Hospital that she should be seeking help elsewhere, her son said this week. 

 

He took his distressed mother to the hospital yesterday morning, only to be berated by a staff member in the X-ray department whom he described as “overwhelmed and sleep-deprived”. The unnamed staff member claimed the hospital was so overwhelmed with people seeking free treatment that the staff was going without sleep.

 

He was told he should have taken his mother to a hospital closer to their home that was “as quiet as a graveyard”. 

 

The woman was found to be suffering from an inflamed abdominal muscle, was treated and released after a few hours. 

 

But the son said they had gone through this on September 11 too, after a doctor at a clinic in Maha Sarakham province determined that his mother’s kidney was swollen and she needed to go to Khon Kaen Hospital where she was registered. 

 

A hospital staff member who was neither a nurse nor a doctor told his mother she should next time go to a hospital nearer her home and, if she could afford it, to a private hospital. Yesterday’s visit became necessary because she was in severe pain, though the doctor had made a follow-up appointment for her on November 

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30355742

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-10-04
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So many are sick through poor diet, alcohol and substance abuse, and so few contribute to the Health Care system through taxes other than VAT, what can anybody expect ?

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Part of the sad reality is the environment in Thailand is starting to make people more unhealthy especially in the cities, mosquito borne diseases, smoking amongst men, chemical overuse in farming & food supply, and with an aging population the cancers & complications are accelerating. There is no easy answer, but i would suggest Taksin was right when he said sell the chinese subs & invest in hospitals.

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1 hour ago, davehowden said:

So many are sick through poor diet, alcohol and substance abuse, and so few contribute to the Health Care system through taxes other than VAT, what can anybody expect ?

One can expect the hospitals to be crushed and many go out of business similar to what happened in Los Angeles California when the Emergency Rooms were used by all the uninsured and for any and all ailments.

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2 hours ago, davehowden said:

So many are sick through poor diet, alcohol and substance abuse, and so few contribute to the Health Care system through taxes other than VAT, what can anybody expect ?

"What can anybody expect?"

 

Yeah, they are poor and it is their fault that they are poor; if they were 'Good' people, they'd have money. 

 

Let the poor suffer at home and save the hospitals for the 'Good' people, right?

 

That is what Jesus/Buddha was going for...

 

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I have nothing but praise for the staff at Khon Kaen hospital. They are truly amazing considering the gross overcrowding! I have been admitted as an emergency on 3 separate occasions and been on 3 different wards. Each ward was filled to nearly treble its capacity overflowing into the corridors. Yet, despite this, the staff were amazing and tremendously caring. Certainly, the system is creaking and desperately needs investment and an overhaul, but, both the outpatient and inpatient systems still work despite this lack of resources and investment. Thank you Khon Kaen Hospital staff.

Sent from my Lenovo A3000-H using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

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3 minutes ago, graemeaylward said:

I have nothing but praise for the staff at Khon Kaen hospital. They are truly amazing considering the gross overcrowding! I have been admitted as an emergency on 3 separate occasions and been on 3 different wards. Each ward was filled to nearly treble its capacity overflowing into the corridors. Yet, despite this, the staff were amazing and tremendously caring. Certainly, the system is creaking and desperately needs investment and an overhaul, but, both the outpatient and inpatient systems still work despite this lack of resources and investment. Thank you Khon Kaen Hospital staff.

Sent from my Lenovo A3000-H using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app
 

I agree with you 100% staff at khonkaen hospital do a fantastic job, under very difficult conditions.

Five years ago today i was admitted there, doctors gave me a 10 % chance of surviving, yet i am still here five years later thanks to the skill and dedication of doctors and nurses.

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Most of us UK people know we get free health care - BUT we all put a lot into it from our wages. Thais do not. There whole health system will collapse unless they start getting the dosh in from the people.

 

Either that or triple the foreigner rate which is more likely and leave more farang held hostage by hospitals

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This 

2 hours ago, webfact said:

Hospitals close to collapse

Military governments by their very nature are not the milk of human kindness; they pretend they are but when it comes to a decisions between buying weaponry and financing hospitals it will be the submarines and tanks that will win every time.

This latest health crisis is indicative of the way the junta is leading the country backwards. Education is also in trouble and is in a state of dysfunction, incompetence and is steeped in corruption. yet the leader immerses himself in matters of importance such as feeding pigeons. 

If PM Prayut and his junta electoral team win the coming election the future looks bleak indeed for the poor people of Thailand. The friends of the junta and the rich and corrupt will prosper even more than they do now.

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12 minutes ago, RichardColeman said:

Most of us UK people know we get free health care - BUT we all put a lot into it from our wages. Thais do not. There whole health system will collapse unless they start getting the dosh in from the people.

 

Either that or triple the foreigner rate which is more likely and leave more farang held hostage by hospitals

That is the problem from free healthcare.. its great.. but its not free. Thaksin was good for starting free healthcare but no government ever funded it enough. Now we see what it leads too.. hospitals that can't cope with the number of patients.

 

You can't just give free healthcare and then not fund the hospitals enough. But it would be a huge drain on the budget if they do. Too few people actually pays, why they don't let everyone pay 400-500 bt a month like the people who work is strange to me.  Its shameful how some people pay for it but get bad service because others don't pay for it.

 

Fund the hospitals more, take money from the army, and from the people. Everywhere free healthcare cost money here there are too many people using the system but not paying a dime.

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15 minutes ago, Cadbury said:

This 

Military governments by their very nature are not the milk of human kindness; they pretend they are but when it comes to a decisions between buying weaponry and financing hospitals it will be the submarines and tanks that will win every time.

This latest health crisis is indicative of the way the junta is leading the country backwards. Education is also in trouble and is in a state of dysfunction, incompetence and is steeped in corruption. yet the leader immerses himself in matters of importance such as feeding pigeons. 

If PM Prayut and his junta electoral team win the coming election the future looks bleak indeed for the poor people of Thailand. The friends of the junta and the rich and corrupt will prosper even more than they do now.

Has nothing to do with the junta, they have actually increased the health budget. The health budget both in a percentage and actual figures is higher now then it was under the PTP with YL. 

 

But that still is not enough... because of the free healthcare that was never funded properly. Instead of blaming the junta without any proof maybe you should stick to facts.

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, robblok said:

Has nothing to do with the junta, they have actually increased the health budget. The health budget both in a percentage and actual figures is higher now then it was under the PTP with YL. 

 

But that still is not enough... because of the free healthcare that was never funded properly. Instead of blaming the junta without any proof maybe you should stick to facts.

 

 

 

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There's none as blind as those that won't see

 

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2 hours ago, Tailwagsdog said:

Part of the sad reality is the environment in Thailand is starting to make people more unhealthy especially in the cities, mosquito borne diseases, smoking amongst men, chemical overuse in farming & food supply, and with an aging population the cancers & complications are accelerating. There is no easy answer, but i would suggest Taksin was right when he said sell the chinese subs & invest in hospitals.

Good idea !  Cancelling the submarines and put this huge amount of taxpayers money in Healthcare is sure a good idea !

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Another factor that they seem to gloss over is that many Thais are hypochondriacs: Every time a headache emerges, or slight fever or such, they head off to the hospital. They also get queue numbers, their 5 minutes with the doctor, and usually get sent back home with paracetamol, and told "If it persists for x days, then come back again". If people could be made aware that little Johnny running a mild fever is not a concern unless it's over 39 degrees Celsius (for children under 6 months), or he's showing other symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, breathing difficulties etc., they might not be so quick to head to the hospital. From anecdotal reports of my friends that work in healthcare, I'd say cutting out the 'kids with fever', and 'adults with headaches' would reduce visitor numbers substantially.

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3 hours ago, davehowden said:

So many are sick through poor diet, alcohol and substance abuse, and so few contribute to the Health Care system through taxes other than VAT, what can anybody expect ?

 

Plus the photo used is a 'file photo', When was it taken, was it within the last couple of days, or it is an old but opportunistic photo?

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So, in the so called 'nanny states' in the West, almost everybody are over-taxed, still the health care is in trouble.

In Thailand, lots of people are not paying any taxes, no surprise the health care is in deep trouble.

So, let's raise the taxes,but i guess the ones who have to pay will not be too happy.

It goes both ways, there's no free lunch.

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11 minutes ago, robblok said:

Has nothing to do with the junta, they have actually increased the health budget. The health budget both in a percentage and actual figures is higher now then it was under the PTP with YL. 

But that still is not enough... because of the free healthcare that was never funded properly. Instead of blaming the junta without any proof maybe you should stick to facts.

 

Of course the health budget is higher now than it was in 2012. So is the defence budget. Whenever does a budget decrease? Selective quoting of statistics proves nothing.

Naturally being # 1 badge holder of the Junta Fan Club you completely disregard the point I make of how spending on military toys, like submarines and tanks and planes takes precedent over the health of the poor. Or perhaps you agree with it?

Likewise you do not offer up any comment about the bizarre irrationality of a leader who neglects such serious matters like health and education and the horrendous road toll in favour of important issues like feeding pigeons, beach chairs, lotteries and rigging elections.

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1 hour ago, RichardColeman said:

Most of us UK people know we get free health care - BUT we all put a lot into it from our wages. Thais do not. There whole health system will collapse unless they start getting the dosh in from the people.

 

Either that or triple the foreigner rate which is more likely and leave more farang held hostage by hospitals

 

I suppose in UK it's roughly 25 to 30% ( questimate ) of wages salaries goes to tax and NI.

Very few people here would agree to paying that.

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7 minutes ago, Cadbury said:

Of course the health budget is higher now than it was in 2012. So is the defence budget. Whenever does a budget decrease? Selective quoting of statistics proves nothing.

Naturally being # 1 badge holder of the Junta Fan Club you completely disregard the point I make of how spending on military toys, like submarines and tanks and planes takes precedent over the health of the poor. Or perhaps you agree with it?

Likewise you do not offer up any comment about the bizarre irrationality of a leader who neglects such serious matters like health and education and the horrendous road toll in favour of important issues like feeding pigeons, beach chairs, lotteries and rigging elections.

Do you have an education in finance / accounting.. if so ask for a refund. You should have read what i posted instead of denying it. I said the budget was higher both in actual number as in a percentage of the budget. The latter is the most important, do read again so the budget was higher as a percentage too. That was why i mentioned it otherwise you would be right.

 

You with your number one badge for lack of reading skills should try to read slower. You would have been right if the actual percentage of budget allocation had not gone up to. But no you failed in reading.

 

Why would i defend Prayut, the guy is an idiot.. i am just attacking your statement with facts about the health budget. 9,6% and 9,3% (pre junta) vs 10,1 and 10,4%.. clearly an increase in budget.

 

Its not as much defending the junta as just not liking false information. Had it been different I would have posted it too. 

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2 hours ago, Tailwagsdog said:

Part of the sad reality is the environment in Thailand is starting to make people more unhealthy especially in the cities, mosquito borne diseases, smoking amongst men, chemical overuse in farming & food supply, and with an aging population the cancers & complications are accelerating. There is no easy answer, but i would suggest Taksin was right when he said sell the chinese subs & invest in hospitals.

 

Can't argue of the need for hospitals but once again we hit that old chestnut, education.

 

They just don't get it do they.

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The private hospitals overcharge by doing unnecessary tests and procedures because of there lack of education mostly new doctors with little or no experience.  Best to find a older more experienced doctor in Thailand and then let them guide you to the next step rather than being put in the hospital procedure mill. My friend just went thru a series of asima tests at a cost of 20k he has never had asima in his life and still does not have asima but what the hell throw in a 20k test to run up the bill the rich foreigners can afford it.

 

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28 minutes ago, Cadbury said:

Of course the health budget is higher now than it was in 2012. So is the defence budget. Whenever does a budget decrease? Selective quoting of statistics proves nothing.

Naturally being # 1 badge holder of the Junta Fan Club you completely disregard the point I make of how spending on military toys, like submarines and tanks and planes takes precedent over the health of the poor. Or perhaps you agree with it?

Likewise you do not offer up any comment about the bizarre irrationality of a leader who neglects such serious matters like health and education and the horrendous road toll in favour of important issues like feeding pigeons, beach chairs, lotteries and rigging elections.

 

And they've really done nothing to fix these problems, so the serious matters are well and truly above the scope of their capabilities.

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53 minutes ago, robblok said:

None is so blind as those ignoring the facts.. Maybe you can't read.

 

How much of the increased budget actually reached Hospitals and Doctors? there are no fancy charts to show how much gets stolen!

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