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Banphaeo Hospital inks deal with OrBorJor

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Banphaeo Hospital inks deal with OrBorJor | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) and Banphaeo Hospital in Samut Sakhon signed a deal on January 26 at Phuket Merlin Hotel that will see the long-abandoned buildings of Phya Thai Hospital renovated and jointly run as a public organization under provincial administration.

Public Health Minister Mongkol Na Songkhla and Phuket Vice-Governor Worapoj Ratthasima witnessed the signing that will see the hospital buildings refitted and managed by Banphaeo Hospital.

Last month, OrBorJor President Anchalee Vanich Tephabutra said that for people in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi, the hospital will offer low-cost treatment with the same quality as private healthcare.

Banphaeo Hospital, which has operated Prommitr Hospital, Bangkok, independently for several years, will help Phuket OrBorJor run the hospital for the first three years of operation.

K. Anchalee said that Banphaeo Hospital will be a welcome addition to healthcare on the island as Phuket’s provincial healthcare facilities cannot currently support the medical needs of Phuket’s growing population.

She added that although Phuket’s private hospitals provide a high standard of medical care, the escalating costs of private treatment mean many islanders cannot afford such treatment.

With financial assistance from the Thai Assets Management Corporation (TAMC), the two hospital buildings on 14 rai of land were purchased for 327 million baht; 180 million baht has been set aside for improvements to the 11-story main building that has space for 280 beds.

Plans for the other five-story building, with a capacity of 110 rooms, include a hydro spa, shops and residences for hospital staff.

“Unfortunately, thieves have stolen many of the valuable items already put in the buildings for renovation, such as electrical wiring,” said K. Anchalee.

“We have asked Silpakorn University to oversee the architecture. The predominant color in the hospital will be green to help patients relax. We hope to open the first phase with 100 beds by the end of the year,” she added.

K. Mongkol expressed his confidence in Banphaeo Hospital operating independently as a public organization while working alongside the government to improve public healthcare.

“Banphaeo Hospital’s experience in public healthcare will allow the organization to give valuable training to OrBorJor medical officers,” he said.

“The public will benefit from the addition of low-cost healthcare offered by the new hospital as living expenses in Phuket are high. There are not enough government hospitals and private hospitals are expensive,” he added.

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Tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

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Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

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Expats

Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up

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Deceased Phuket expat’s body stuck in hospital due to passport mix-up | The Thaiger

In a nightmarish scenario, a deceased Phuket expat’s body is stuck in a Thai hospital as his step‐daughter claims hospital administrators won’t release the body due to a passport mix‐up.

Gemma Swift, the step‐daughter of 75 year old David Donoghue, who died 2 weeks ago, says she is pleading with embassy staff in Thailand to resolve, what she says, is purely an administrative issue after Donoghue’s passport number at the hospital was from that of an expired one.

Donoghue’s current passport was on file with the British Embassy, but because it did not match what the hospital had, his body has remained at the hospital. Swift says it was something that could easily be corrected and the situation was “horrendous” for the family.

“The British Embassy over in Bangkok, they said that because [the number] was from his current passport, they were unable to change the letter. They have said that they won’t reissue a letter with the passport number that he’s got in the hospital with him.”

She said her family planned to arrange a funeral for him in Thailand, then bring his ashes back to the UK. As he retired to Phuket 15 years ago, her family would then take his ashes back to Thailand, as per his wishes, to scatter them.

However, none of his family members were able to travel to Thailand to be with Donoghue in his final days, as the mandatory 14 day quarantine period upon entering Thailand, would not have allowed them to see him.

“I thought this was a basic human right to be able to give somebody a funeral and I accept that there is always going to be red tape…but please just issue a letter and let us bring him home.”

She said before Covid-19, family members travelled often to Phuket to visit Donoghue, who once worked for the Thai tourist police. She says the entire ordeal has been heartbreaking as her family was unable to say goodbye.

“That on its own was heart breaking, and now to get this two weeks later, to find out we can’t give him a funeral, or get his ashes back, it’s just horrendous.”

“It’s like being on autopilot… once we know we have done everything we can, we can start the grieving process, but at the minute we can’t.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said they are assisting Donoghue’s family during the difficult time.

“Our staff are in contact with the local hospital and funeral director to help his family obtain the necessary paperwork to ensure his body is treated in line with their wishes.”

If the situation isn’t fixed, Donoghue’s body will join a mass cremation at the hospital.

SOURCE: BBC News

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

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Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today…. The island of Phuket has a firm plan to get its residents vaccinated leading up to an October opening for tourists, the Thai PM backs up his police over last Sunday’s protest violence and Thai Airway’s employee union criticises the changes to employee contracts.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Phuket has a resident population of around 300- 400,000 people.

Before you go rushing off to book your plane tickets we’d stress that this is another in a long list of proposals that have not come to fruition and we’d urge patience until the Government approves the plans.

Meanwhile the island has taken delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

On a broader note… Thailand’s Tourism Minister says he has asked the Public Health Ministry to approve a vaccine passport scheme aimed at reviving Thailand’s devastated tourism sector. According to the Minister, the government is looking to the World Health Organisation to issue a statement on vaccine passports before it makes a final decision on the matter.

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended police action against protesters taking part in Sunday’s anti-government rally in Bangkok. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau used tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets in an effort to drive protesters back from the PM’s residence. The PM insists the actions were in line with international standards. He says that police did not violate the protesters’ rights.

Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans. A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre, says that even though the bats have tested positive for a coronavirus, it is not the strain that is transmissible to humans, and it’s certainly not the virus that causes Covid-19.

As Thai Airways tries to sell new contracts and conditions to its remaining workforce, the labour union of the national carrier is challenging changes to the employment contracts, where Thai Airways employees are being asked to agree to changes as part of the bigger financial rehabilitation program.

But a union representative says the new contracts are unfair because it includes fewer leave days and shorter holidays. The union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

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