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Phaya Thai hospital plan comes under fire

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Phaya Thai hospital plan comes under fire | Thaiger

PHUKET (

Nation): The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) project to revamp the old Phyathai Hospital on the east side of Phuket City has come under criticism by Health Ministry officials, who claim it will lure qualified staff away from already short-staffed medical facilities.

Ministry policy and strategy bureau director Dr Supakit Sirilak said state hospitals outside Bangkok already had too few staff.

Phuket’s OrBorJor‘s facility would lure even more away with offers of better salaries, he said.

“We don’t have enough medical workers to run hospitals across the country. We are concerned this new hospital will worsen the situation,” Dr Supakit said.

He was worried, too, that the hospital would lack an adequate patient referral system.

Regardless, the ministry is continuing to decentralize primary and hospital healthcare to local administration organizations.

Thailand’s 1,572 state hospitals and 8,513 health-care units will be transferred to local administration organizations by 2010.

The ministry is asking state hospital workers if they want to work for administrative organizations, and evaluating the readiness of those bodies to operate hospitals, he said.

In May it was announced that Patong Hospital was to have a more autonomous board of directors comprised nearly entirely of key local politicians, administrators and businesspeople.

The OrBorJor hospital will charge for services and will not be covered by the National Health Security Office universal health-care scheme.

“We want to focus on patients who can pay for medical treatment. We will provide them with quality care,” said OrBorJor senior adviser Dr Kosol Taeng-utai

In August, the OrBorJor bought the Phyathai Hospital from the Thai Asset Management Corporation for 327 million baht.

Dr. Kosol said that the OrBorJor would spend 150 million baht and 18 months renovating the 10-story and five-story buildings of the old hospital.

When finished next year, it will be able to accommodate up to 200 patients.

“An executive board will operate the hospital and be responsibility for running it at a profit,” said Dr. Kosol.

“If the hospital can survive the first three years, we will look at adding specialist treatment for the next phase,” he added.

 

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