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Officials push for new Phuket hospital

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Officials push for new Phuket hospital | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Officials are pushing for the public health clinic in Chalong to be upgraded to a fully equipped hospital in order to reduce the number of people dying en route to emergency wards at major hospitals in Phuket Town.

Clinic Director Ruedee Suriya told the Phuket Gazette that on average two people every month die while on their way to one of the main hospitals in Phuket Town.

“We can’t handle serious cases here so they have to go to Phuket. It’s a long way to Vachira Hospital and the traffic adds to the journey time.”

“Most casualties that die in transit have either been involved in a road accident, a violent assault or have been rescued from the sea,” she added.

“At the moment, about 70 people a day visit the clinic. There are two nurses working during the day from 8:30am to 4:30pm and a duty nurse until 11pm. Doctors from Vachira Hospital are on duty every Tuesday morning and all day Thursday,” she said.

“We agree with the plan to upgrade the clinic. If the plan goes ahead, we will have a 30-bed inpatient ward,” Ms Ruedee said.

The upgrade would bring to fruition the efforts of Gao Areerob and Kao Kraitat, who together established the clinic in 1940. Gao Areerob donated the land and Kao Kraitat donated the money for the building. Both men wanted to establish a hospital to treat local residents from Chalong, Wichit, Rawai and Karon.

Last Wednesday, provincial officers led by Vice Governor Sommai Prijasilpa met Chalong Muncipality officials at the municipality office to discuss the proposed upgrade from clinic to hospital, complete with emergency surgery facilities.

Vice Governor Sommai explained that, at the Cabinet meeting in Phuket in March, a budget of 186 million baht was approved in principle to upgrade the Chalong health clinic facilities and services to hospital quality.

“We expect to get the budget from the Ministry of Public Health and have the hospital open by August 12, 2016 to celebrate HM the Queen’s seventh-cycle birthday [84th birthday],” V/Gov Sommai said.

Phuket Public Health Office Deputy Director Dr Wiwat Seetamanotch believed it was a very good sign that the Cabinet had, even if only in principle, approved the project.

“Previously we submitted the project to the Ministry [of Public Health]. It was rejected because it is not ministry policy to have hospitals in subdistricts as the population density is usually not enough to warrant a full hospital.”

“However, our hospital project was approved in principle and we must now try our best to acquire the 186mn baht as soon as possible. Many other projects were also ‘provisionally’ approved by the Cabinet and they too will need funding by the Ministry of Public Health.”

Dr Wiwat explained that 102mn baht would be needed for an outpatient building and the remaining 84mn for staff accommodation.

“If we reach a point where we have not yet received the budget, [Phuket] MP Raywat Areerob has assured me he will lobby the Cabinet. He will press the issue in Parliament, asking why the project has been abandoned when politicians have stated it as their intention,” said Dr Wiwat.

“I believe we will surely get the budget,” he added.

Dr Wiwat also suggested that they should take the opportunity at the ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting, scheduled for July 2-6 in Phuket at Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, to thank the Cabinet for their assistance.

“We have to show that we already have the land for the project and a list of investors, including the capital they’re prepared to put into the project, to prove our good intentions to the Cabinet.

“The money does not need to be transferred yet as we have another four years to collect it. I do not think it will be a problem to subsidize that amount until then.”

“As Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is scheduled to open the meeting, we could have representatives from Chalong there to thank her and Wittaya Booranasiri, the Minister for Public Health.

“We need to remind her of the project because so many others were presented [at the mobile Cabinet meeting], it would be easy to forget this one,” said Dr Wiwat.

— Chutharat Plerin

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

Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tourism

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend

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Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says that Phuket has received a much-needed 300 million baht boost over the 4 day long weekend with around 54,000 tourists flocking to the island from last Thursday through to yesterday.

Phuket Office Director Nanthasiri Ronnasiri, reports that the average expenditure per visitor was about 5,500 baht, which was higher than the average spend for a Thai tourist to Phuket 2 years ago. She also noted that random checks on hotels showed that occupancy rates climbed to about 35%, with most guests staying 2 nights. But most of Phuket’s hotels remain closed.

Nanthasiri also says that many of the tourists concentrated themselves in the Phuket Old Town area, especially around Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, and Dibuk Road in order to enjoy at the Sino-Portuguese shophouse architecture and historical locations. In fact much of Phuket Town, including its many markets and alley eateries, were doing roaring business, The Thaiger can vouch for the heavy traffic, on the roads and footpaths, over the past 4 days.

“This special holiday made Phuket tourism livelier, even though it was not as same as the situation before the Covid-19 pandemic.”

In fact, despite the welcome surge of visitors, it was still a long, long way from its previous tourist levels with much of the west coast, which has largely catered for the international tourist traffic, was still very quiet in places like Patong, Kata and Karon.

Phuket wasnt the only destination that has profited off of the long weekend as Chiang Mai saw droves of Thai tourists visiting its Royal Park Rajapruek as well as the northern city’s other nearby national parks and tourist areas. Visitors came from all over to see the blossoming of flowers in a beautiful display at the park as well as enjoying the air-purifying flowers as they relaxed. Tourists were able to rent a bicycle for 60 baht if they wanted to exercise while taking in the scenery and could also pay a visit to the orchid greenhouse, which hosts a variety of orchids in bloom. TripAdvisor recommends to set aside 2 hours to visit the park.

Next holiday weekend, on November 27 and 28, Pattaya is expected to get a tourism boost as its annual fireworks festivalis set to bring in travellers who have taken advantage of package deals offered by some beachside hotels. Such packages were offered for advance bookings, where holidaymakers could view the firework shows on the rooftops of their hotels. The firework displays are said to be long with breaks of entertainment-packed shows, featuring live music and student bands amongst others.

Phuket sees 300 million baht boost over long holiday weekend | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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