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Banphaeo Hospital steps in to help OrBorJor

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Banphaeo Hospital steps in to help OrBorJor | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Banphaeo Hospital in Samut Sakhon will next month sign a management contract agreeing to help the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) re-open the long-abandoned Phyathai Hospital as a public organization, to be run independently of the Public Health Ministry.

OrBorJor President Anchalee Vanich Tephabutra said that when the new facility opens, hopefully by the end of the year, it will serve as a reasonably-priced medical center for people in Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi.

The hospital, located on Sri Sena Rd, was bought by the OrBorJor from the Thai Asset Management Corporation for 327 million baht in August.

OrBorJor officials recently met Banphaeo Hospital executives to discuss plans for the new hospital, which will start using some medical staff and services from Banphaeo Hospital, currently the only hospital in Thailand run as a “public organization”.

Although still operated under the supervision of government ministries, public organizations are expected to operate quickly and efficiently without being hindered by the complex procedures required by the traditional bureaucracy.

Potential hospital staffers will be interviewed in the second quarter of this year and hiring will begin around October with the aim to commencing operations by the end of the year, said K. Anchalee.

Banphaeo Hospital Director Dr Surapong Boonprasert said, “We will help the OrBorJor find medical staff and other personnel needed to bring the hospital up to the standards demanded by local people. Treatment fees will be kept low, but without compromising standards.”

The OrBorJor will be responsible for acquiring medical equipment, while Banphaeo Hospital will initially deal with hospital operations. The long-term goal is to have the OrBorJor run all hospital operations, said K. Anchalee.

“Within four to five years, we would expect to be managing the entire facility system by ourselves,” she added.

There will be three phases in the hospital’s re-development, she said.

The first phase, already underway, involves an assessment of the building to determine where repairs and improvements are needed. The second phase will consist of restoring utilities such as electric supply, air conditioning, IT facilities, phone lines and so on. The final phase will involve staffing.

K. Anchalee acknowledged that the hospital must recoup its investment costs, but said that the project is not not intended as a profit-making venture.

However, the project came under fire in October by Health Ministry officials who claimed it could lure doctors away from state-run hospitals that are already facing staffing problems.

Also, in 2004, public organizations suffered severe criticism after some were accused of abusing their greater autonomy. The Assets Capitalization Bureau (ACB), for example, paid each of its directors up to 450,000 baht a month.

Handicapped and elderly patients will receive special benefits at the new hospital, added K. Anchalee.

The hospital will be renamed in the near future, she added.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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