Connect with us


Public outcry sends Vachira wing back to the drawing board

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Public outcry over plans to demolish an eight-story, 100 year-old building, along with a grove of old mahogany trees, has lead management at Phuket Vachira Hospital to reconsider the development of a new hospital wing.

The issue came to public attention on August 25, when a Facebook user posted a statement in Thai.

“Vachira Hospital will demolish this 100-year-old building in order to expand its facilities,” the statement reads. “Locals are trying to help stop the project, but have too small of a voice to convince management to alter their plans. I would like to ask for help from experts, teachers, members of the media, officials and officers, as well as from the public in general. Help us share this news and put pressure on Vachira to stop the project. The building is old, and this kind of architecture falls under the protection of the Fine Arts Department. Therefore, those who are responsible for the demolition of the building should face legal charges.”

The issue further heated up on August 25, when a Vachira Hospital doctor submitted a complaint to the Damrongdharma center (ombudsman’s office), after he received no satisfaction following a discussion of his concerns with Vachira management.

“The new building, which plans for 298 beds, received a 303 million baht budget from Ministry of Public Health’s 2017 yearly budget,” Dr Veerasak said. “The management team first informed us that the new building will be built at the current site of the canteen and laundry area, which had been approved by a team from the ministry.”

“However,on July, Vachira’s director and deputy director stated that the building site would be changed to where the Ranong and Boontham buildings are located,” he said. “Both buildings date back to the period of King Rama VI and many old trees would also be destroyed for the new facility’s construction.”

Vachira Hospital’s Chief Engineer told the Phuket Gazette that the site of the development shifted due to logistical considerations.

“We’ve since surveyed both sites and the reason we changed our plans from the canteen and laundry area is due to the slope next to the parking area, which could affect traffic,” Chaiyot Thonglim said. “Another reason is that fire trucks would not be able to reach the area in the event of an emergency.”

Mr Chaiyot said that after receiving complaints, the hospital’s management is reconsidering the building site.

“We can agree with the new location if management can find a way to save the old buildings and trees,” said Dr Veerasak.

Vachira’s management team has reportedly come up with four possible solutions and is expected to choose one by September:

First, they could set up a committee headed by Dr Veerasak, joined by representatives from the Department of Fine Arts, the Forestry Department and the Ministry of Public Heath to decide the issue;

Secondly, they could enter into a discussion with the ministry, engineers and architects to see if there is any possible design that would respect the integrity of the old buildings and vegetation.

Thirdly, the wing could be moved to Chalong hospital, with doctors and nurses from Vachira working there instead; and finally, they could return the budget to the ministry.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Best of6 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 most family-friendly resorts

Transport6 hours ago

Transport Company announces bus services are suspended until August 31

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | 29 provinces now on curfew, booze ban in Phuket

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Insurgency9 hours ago

Volunteer ranger killed in grenade attack by suspected insurgents

Best of9 hours ago

Top 5 Spas in Koh Samui

Thailand9 hours ago

Hemp ice cream hits the Thai market

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Chon Buri10 hours ago

Chon Buri sets local order, restaurants in malls to only offer food for delivery

Thailand10 hours ago

Samut Prakan man dies in fire, possibly self-inflicted

Thailand11 hours ago

Royal Thai Police say bitterleaf can’t cure Covid

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 18,901 new cases, provincial totals

Thailand12 hours ago

Air Asia technician arrested for allegedly stealing electronics

Pattaya12 hours ago

“Pattaya Move On” reopening likely to be postponed as Covid cases surge

Thailand12 hours ago

3 metre long python caught near family’s house in Phuket

Thailand14 hours ago

Government says not to buy Favipiravir/Avigan online, says it might be fake

Phuket14 hours ago

Phuket bans alcohol sales at restaurants, issues order amid rise of Covid cases

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8