PATONG BEACH: Patong Hospital will increase its number of beds from 10 to 90 by the end of the this year in a bid to meet growing demand for bed space, according to Director Dr Taweesak Nertwong. Because of its location in the heart of Phuket’s major tourist centre, Dr Taweesak said the hospital had become too small to treat rapidly rising numbers of patients. Work has already begun on improvements to the facility. These include construction of a casualty ward, additional space for 30 beds, a meeting room and improvements to the hospital entrance. These initial improvements were financed through three million baht in public donations and a further two million baht donated by local MP Anchalee Vanich-Thepabhud. Work began about two months ago and will be completed by January 30. Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai will attend the ground breaking ceremony – also on January 30 – for the second phase of improvements. The hospital has received a grant of 61 million baht from the Ministry of Public Health for construction of a new wing that will house 60 beds. The old 10-bed ward will be demolished because of its poor condition. But Dr Taweesak said total costs for the new wing would be about 69 million baht. He said the hospital was looking for donations from residents and tourists to make up the shortfall. Dr Taweesak said the second project would be completed by November.
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