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Patong Hospital to become more autonomous

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PATONG: Patong Hospital on October 2 will become a public organization, though wholly owned by the Ministry of Public Health, so that local community leaders can join the hospital’s board of administrators.

A public seminar was held yesterday to inform staff and the public to the changes the hospital will face.

Contrary to reports in the local media, the hospital will not become a company and will not be registered on the Thai Stock Exchange, Hospital Director Thaweesak Netwong said.

Under the new arrangement the hospital will continue to be owned by the Ministry of Public Health and will still receive budget support from the central government, but only if the hospital proves a need for special funding.

Director Thaweesak said the hospital will continue to offer treatment under the 30-baht healthcare card scheme.

“The goal of these changes is to allow local people to be a part of the administrative board. All the services will remain the same as they are now. Nothing else will change – not even the prices of medication or treatment and other services – room charges for overnight stays might even decrease,” he said.

Among the local figures to join the administrative board will be Kathu District Chief Khantee Silapa as well as representatives from Patong Municipality and the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor).

“This is a big change for the hospital because it will give poor people access to better treatment in a hospital that is not inferior to the private hospitals,” Director Thaweesak said.

Under the model they are pursuing, the government would still have a role in supporting the hospital if it is needed or if they run into financial difficulties.

“If we don’t have enough income, such as if another tsunami hit or something else greatly affects tourism, the government would still support us by providing funds. That is how we are different from a private organization.”

 

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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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