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Thailand approves use of marijuana in local health promotion hospitals

Maya Taylor



Thailand approves use of marijuana in local health promotion hospitals | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Rick Proctor on Unsplash
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The blending of marijuana with other pharmaceutical products for the purpose of medical treatment is being given the go-ahead by the Thai government. Nation Thailand reports that the Ministry of Public Health has approved 17 formulations for use in local health promotion hospitals.

“Sub-district Health Promoting Hospitals are hospitals that are operated by either the MOPH or Department of Local Administration and were initially called “health stations”. These hospitals only have primary care capabilities and often serve villages within districts. Almost all of these hospitals do not accept inpatients and usually have no doctor on duty for the entire time.” – Wikipedia

Dr. Marut Jirasrattasiri, from the Department of Traditional Thai Medicine and Alternative Medicine, says over 60,000 patients have expressed interest in being treated with medicinal marijuana, with the department approving the drug for use.

Currently, 4 hospitals are understood to be participating, 3 of which are in the north-east of the country. These are Khlong Muang Hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Chiang Phin Hospital in the province of Udon Thani, Ban Na Yao Nuea Hospital in Sakon Nakhon province, and Ban Na Pak Khow hospital in the southern province of Phatthalung.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.


Thai virology expert says no need to panic over new swine flu threat

Maya Taylor



Thai virology expert says no need to panic over new swine flu threat | The Thaiger

One of Thailand’s leading virologists says that while the new swine flu recently discovered in China does have the potential to become a pandemic, there is no reason to panic at this stage. However, Dr. Yong Poovorawan adds that the catchily named G4 EA H1N1 virus is a mutation of the H1N1 virus, which took hold back in 2009. Because of this mutation, humans would be unlikely to have any immunity if it were to jump from pigs to people.

Meanwhile, speaking at a Senate hearing in the US, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, says the virus is being closely monitored, agreeing that it shares similar properties with both the 2009 virus and the 1918 flu pandemic.

“They’re seeing the virus in swine, in pigs now, that have characteristics of the 2009 H1N1, of the original 1918, of which many of our flu viruses have remnants, as well as segments from other hosts, like swine.”

A report in Asia One says that the virus has been shown to grow and reproduce in the cells of human airways. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, leading scientists say those working in the swine industry should have their health closely monitored and measures to control the spread of the new swine flu should be put in place as a matter of urgency.

Researchers cite two cases, one in 2016 and one in 2019, where swine flu appears to have infected humans, one a 46 year old, the other a 9 year old child, both of whom had neighbours who had raised pigs. It’s understood this latest virus has been increasing in pigs since 2016, but Amesh Adalja from the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security says the threat of a pandemic has not always been centre stage in the news like it is now.

“We’ve always had potential pandemic flu viruses that we worry about, they just don’t have a media moment like pandemic viruses are having right now. This is one of the flu viruses we’ll have to keep track of, and watch, and understand what its potential might be for causing human infections, just like we do for H5N1 and H7N9, which are the other two potential pandemic flu viruses that we’ve also been tracking.”

SOURCE: Asia One | Axios

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Thailand may ease up on medical cannabis restrictions

Caitlin Ashworth



Thailand may ease up on medical cannabis restrictions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

Thailand may be getting a little more cannabis-friendly. The Food and Drug Administration has drafted a bill to allow private companies to produce medical marijuana. Another stipulation would allow international travellers to bring medical cannabis for personal use if they have the proper import and export license.

Attorney Wirot Poonsuwan wrote an article for Khaosod English explaining the legislations that are in the works. There’s been a ban in place restricting private firms from producing medical marijuana, which is set to end in 2024, but the bill would make it end sooner. Right now, only state agencies or private universities and farmers backed by state agencies can produce medical cannabis. He says the restrictions have caused a shortage of medical cannabis. Under the proposed bill, the production of CBD oil would still need to be backed by a state agency.

Foreign medical marijuana patients are also set to be in luck with the new bill as Poonsuwan says international travelers will be free to carry with them or otherwise import their own CBD oil after applying for and receiving an import license.

Not only would foreigners be able to carry CBD oil over international borders, but he says foreigners living in Thailand would be allowed to grow cannabis plants for their own treatment.

SOURCE: Khaosod

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Top 5 hospitals in Bangkok for 2020

Cita Catellya



Top 5 hospitals in Bangkok for 2020 | The Thaiger

When is the best time to discuss the top hospitals in the Capital? During a global pandemic, of course!

Thankfully, the number of Corona Virus cases appears to be subsiding throughout the world and relatively speaking, Thailand held its own, with very few recorded cases and deaths, so far.

Now, for our assessment of the best places to be, should you ever require medical or even cosmetic assistance.

Of course, given the sheer volume of public and private hospitals across Bangkok, we could not cover all of them; however, we did manage to compare 45 hospitals and comb through reports about service, patient safety and satisfaction, medical equipment, and more to pick out our top-rated hospitals in the capital.

After we dug a little deeper, filtered the good and bad reviews, and spoke to an industry insider to get their perspective, we concluded that the following are the 5 best hospitals in Bangkok where you’re guaranteed the best medical services.

Top 5 hospitals in Bangkok for 2020 | News by The Thaiger

#1 Sikarin Hospital

If you are looking for a combination of highly trained specialists, world-class services, and advanced medical technology, Sikarin Hospital should be your top choice. This 240-bed, relatively unknown hospital on the Eastern side of Bangkok has been providing patients with comprehensive medical care for more than 27 years.

It boasts various specialized centers, from cardiology and orthopedics to plastic and cosmetic surgery. All of these specialized centers are equipped with the most modern and advanced medical technologies. All treatments are performed by experienced and skilled specialists who have received continuous training and stay up to date with the latest medical advancements.

Sikarin Hospital also offers hotel-style rooms, suites with VIP options, translation services, and round the clock care – all for the convenience and comfort of their patients. Upon entering the hospital, you will immediately feel its calm and welcoming atmosphere, which helps to make it a little less stressful when you’re about to undergo treatment.

It is worth mentioning that this hospital is accredited by the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI), so standards and practices are benchmarked against the top US hospitals. In addition, it is also certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001:2008) and the Hospital Accreditation of Thailand.

As a center of excellence, this hospital is not only popular among local patients, but also international patients from all around the globe. Andrew Waters of MyMediTravel stated,

“Among other leading hospitals in Bangkok, Sikarin Hospital appears to be the favorite with both domestic and foreign patients. Most of our patients who had treatments there, ranging from coronary angioplasty to breast augmentation, are all extremely satisfied with the outcome and the service received. Which shows just how well the hospital treats their patients and how they put 100% into their service, every time, without fail. We’ve literally not had a single review that hasn’t been 5-stars – that says it all for us.”

Sikarin Hospital

Stunning entrance to Sikarin Hospital

#2 Kamol Hospital

Led by the world-renowned Dr. Kamol Pansritum, Kamol Hospital is one of the largest dedicated cosmetic hospitals in Thailand, if not the world. Accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), this hospital is particularly popular for its world-class sex reassignment surgery and is known for its continuous support for the transgender community. People from all around the world travel to this hospital to undergo sex reassignment surgery.

Dr. Kamol Pansintrum himself has performed over 5,000 successful gender confirmation surgeries and more than 10,000 related surgical procedures for both trans-women and men. He is considered the go-to surgeon for numerous Thai celebrities seeking elective treatments.

Along with his team of talented medical professionals, Dr. Kamol is ready to make anyone’s cosmetic dreams become reality.

For the wellbeing of its patients, the hospital was designed with elegance, with a comfortable and luxurious room to high-tech operating theaters.

We spoke to a former gender reassignment patient, who wished to remain anonymous, and she stated that choosing this hospital and surgeon was the best decision she’d ever made, even going as far as to say that she cannot wait to go back for her breast augmentation procedure.

With their mission to provide the most efficient and effective treatments and services, they are committed to continuous training, improvement, and innovation to provide new and advanced techniques for cosmetic surgery in order to meet the needs of their ever-growing clients. From all the reports and reviews we combed through, we have seen nothing but praises for this hospital.

Dr. Kamol Pansritum

Dr. Kamol Pansritum

#3 Vejthani Hospital

If you have bones and joints problems, Vejthani Hospital is the place to go. Referred to as the “King of Bones,” this hospital is known to provide the best services related to bones and joints problems in Bangkok. The hospital is one of the first private hospitals in Asia to introduce the Robotic Spinal Surgical System and adopted the highly innovative O-Arm Navigation System. These advanced medical technologies have allowed the hospital to provide the best total orthopedic solutions, such as spine surgery, total hip and knee replacement, sports medicine, and pediatric orthopedic surgery.

Within its 12-story building, Vejthani Hospital is equipped with 500 inpatient beds and more than 300 specialists across a wide range of specialties, ranging from cosmetic services to tertiary care. Besides its amazing orthopedic treatments, the surgery also offers dental treatments, skin and laser treatments, and abdominal surgery among others.

Established in 1994, Vejthani Hospital has always strived to provide top quality medical care using its innovative patient-centric care approach. The key to their competencies is internationally trained medical professionals, cutting-edge medical technologies, and world-class healthcare standards combined with authentic Thai hospitality. This hospital is renowned as a provider of choice for locals, multinational expatriates, and international medical tourists. Each year, the hospital serves over 300,000 international patients.

The hospital is also proud to boast its Joint Commission International accreditation, ISO 9001:2000 certification, and Thailand Hospital Accreditation. Their service has also been honored with the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award in 2011 and 2017.

Vejthani Hospital

Vejthani Hospital

#4 Bumrungrad International Hospital

Bumrungrad International Hospital is not only the biggest hospital in Thailand and Southeast Asia but also the first hospital in Asia to receive international accreditation from JCI in 2002. On top of that, the hospital was the first of over 800 hospitals in Thailand to receive the Hospital Accreditation of Thailand and is the first hospital in the world outside of the United States to achieve the Global Healthcare Accreditation (GHA). Bumrungrad International Hospital is also the first in Asia to have the Managing Infection Risk (MIR) Standard developed by DNV GL. In addition to its accreditations, the hospital has a long list of awards as well, including the 2018 Medical Tourism Hospital of the Year in the Asia Pacific, Most Trusted Hospital in Thailand 2018, Hospital of the Year 2018, and much more. The hospital truly strives to improve the health of its community and beyond by pioneering research and treatments and providing world-class medical care.

With the hospital’s stellar achievement, patients can be comfortable in the knowledge, that choosing Bumrungrad International Hospital means they will receive the best treatment and services. The hospital has been called a “one-stop” center for medical services since 2007. For instance, Bumrungrad provides in-house lab testing, so almost all medical tests are done at the hospital and can be completed in less than an hour. Thanks to this, you do not have to wait weeks to get the results of your tests.

The hospital has 47 specialty centers and clinics, including digestive disease (GI) center, cancer center, orthopedic center, and pediatrics center to name a few. Each of these centers is armed with the most modern and advanced medical technology. Take the cancer center, for example. This center uses the da Vinci System to perform robot-assisted prostate cancer and kidney cancer surgery.

As the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia, Bumrungrad International Hospital has over 4,800 employees, over 1,200 physicians and dentists (many of whom obtained international certification and training), and more than 900 nurses. It has 580 luxurious inpatient beds and it can cater to 5,500 outpatients a day. The hospital treats more than 1.1 million patients annually, with more than 520,000 of them arriving from over 190 countries across the globe. But beware, they charge a pretty penny for this added luxury!

Bumrungrad International Hospital

The World Famous Bumrungrad Hospital

#5 Yanhee International Hospital

Located in northeastern Bangkok, Yanhee International Hospital is one of the most highly-respected medical centers in Asia. Patients from around the country and around the world come to this hospital for everything from cardiac surgery to beauty treatments. The hospital treats more than 10,000 international patients from 162 countries each year.

All treatments in this hospital are delivered by physicians who are trained in the finest medical academies both in Thailand and overseas. All of the doctors have many years of experience, as well as thousands of procedures performed, and patients treated. The doctors also engage in continuous medical education through scientific meetings, conventions, and seminars to provide the most advanced and safest medical techniques for their patients. Besides its highly skilled medical professionals, it also gets top grades for having well-mannered and attentive staff members. Their medical support staff will ensure that you feel comfortable during each process of your treatment.

Founded by Dr. Supot Sumritvanitcha in 1984, Yanhee International Hospital continues to provide excellent medical services. It has maintained its Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation each year. In addition, it has achieved accreditations from Hospital Accreditations of Thailand and ISO 9001:2008. In 2012, the hospital was awarded the Reader’s Digest Gold Award for Asia’s Most Trusted Brand.

The hospital has 400 beds, 150 full-time doctors, 120 part-time medical professionals, and 800 nurses. It also offers in-house services, such as interpreters who speak over 11 languages. Therefore, there is no such thing as a language barrier for expatriate and international medical tourists who choose to undergo their treatments here.

Yanhee Hospital

Medical records being delivered by staff wearing roller skates!

Other worthy mentions that didn’t make our top 5 include, Bangkok Hospital Bangkok (extravagant but not as good as Bumrungrad), Mission Hospital (great value but the hospital lacks somewhat compared to the others) and Samitivej Hospital (great location but that wasn’t enough to make the grade).

But judge for yourself – if you need to pay a Bangkok hospital a visit any time soon, do your own research and choose the one most suitable for the procedure you require. Our review is more of a general insight.

There are many, many specialist facilities in the Capital and you’ll also realize that the specialist surgeons are not always associated with just one hospital, so you may wish to focus your research on the individuals and not the facility itself. Or, save yourself the hassle of reaching out to all these medical providers directly, and use a free medical referral service, like MyMediTravel. In any case, stay safe and healthy in Bangkok and rest assured, you’ll be in good hands!

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