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Phuket Health: Seminar on colorectal disease

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Health: Seminar on colorectal disease | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Leading medical professionals from all over the world gathered at Bangkok Hospital Phuket last month for the first annual Colorectal Disease Symposium.

Organized from December 8-10 by the director of the Colorectal Disease Institute at Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Dr Art Hiranyakas, the symposium consisted of panel discussions, guest speakers and live surgeries. Topics included different types of colorectal diseases, research techniques and various surgical approaches and treatments.

About 130 people registered from all over the world and Thailand including attendees from Chiang Mai, Northeastern provinces and Bangkok. Many foreign-based symposium participants are colleagues of Dr Hiranyakas, whom he developed relationships with while studying in Singapore, Australia, South Korea and the United States.

Following Dr Hiranyakas’ relocation to Phuket from Bangkok, he recently established the Colorectal Disease Institute. Dr Hiranyakas explained that he created the institute in order to, “Contribute to the world society of colorectal surgeons, improve patient outcomes and improve the quality of the services here [at Bangkok Hospital Phuket].”

Dr Hiranyakas and his colleagues arranged the symposium in hopes of changing the image of private hospitals. “In Thailand, private hospitals haven’t been established as institutions that can produce new knowledge or conduct any research but we want to be one of these institutions,” said Hiranyakas. He hopes the symposium will attract the attention of other doctors and surgeons who will be interested in collaborating on research projects.

It was not a coincidence that Dr Hiranyakas ended up directing the institute in Phuket. “The main reason for having this type of institute here in Phuket is that the population in Phuket is quite different from the other parts of Thailand because we have a large Caucasian population.”

“The majority of that [retired] population come from European countries and North America and the incidence of cancer above the age of 50 is quite high.”

Being of Western origin is not necessarily to blame but having a western diet is shown to contribute to increased cancer rates and; “That is well reported in the medical literature,” said Dr Hiranyakas.

“Stick with Thai food since you’re here in Thailand because we know a little bit about the causes of the cancers and the main factor is what we eat. Thai food is considered a healthy food because we have lots of herbs and lots of vegetables and those are antioxidant and can prevent cancer.”

Spices such as basil, curry, ginger and chili are often found in many Thai dishes and are known to be high in antioxidants. They are believed to play a role in preventing the development of certain chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and cataracts.

But it is not just cancer that the Colorectal Disease Institute and symposium participants are concerned with. “There are lots of diseases relating to the colon, starting from infectious diseases to cancers,” said Dr Hiranyakas. Hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease and fistulas (a type of abscess) are among other diseases of concern.

The first annual symposium will continue into subsequent years as it was considered a success with registration reaching full capacity and a bounty of diagnostic, treatment and recovery information shared among the group.

Following his completion of the General Surgery Board Examination in 2002, Dr Hiranyakas was

appointed Instructor of Surgery and later served as Assistant Professor of Surgery, both at

Prince of Songkhla University, Songkhla, Thailand.

For more information, check out phukethospital.com/Health-Centre/Colorectal-Surgery-Center.php

— Jeremie Schatz

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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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Business

Out of 37 countries, Thailand has the worst pension system, says Bloomberg

May Taylor

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Out of 37 countries, Thailand has the worst pension system, says Bloomberg | The Thaiger

Thai Residents reports that on Sunday, Bloomberg published an article on the world’s best pension systems, using information gathered from the 2019 Melbourne Mercer Global Pensions Index.

The survey looked at the pension systems of 37 countries with metrics including employee rights, savings, the number of homeowners, growth of assets, and growth of the economy. The purpose of the analysis was to determine what was needed to improve state pension systems and to gauge the level of confidence citizens had in their state pension system.

The Netherlands and Denmark were found to have the world’s best state pensions, with Australia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, and Chile next. Out of all 37 countries, Thailand finished last, with what the report described as an extremely ineffective and ambiguous system.

“Thailand was in the bottom slot and should introduce a minimum level of mandatory retirement savings and increase support for the poorest.”

Out of 37 countries, Thailand has the worst pension system, says Bloomberg | News by The Thaiger

Photo: WorkpointNews

Thai Residents states that only those employed within the government system in Thailand are eligible for a pension based on salary. For most Thai citizens, pension amounts vary from 600 baht to 1,000 baht a month, depending on the recipient’s age.

A report carried out by The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) advises Thai citizens to have at least 4 million baht saved by the time they retire, but Thai Residents reports that 60% of Thai retirees have less than 1 million baht in savings, with one in three citizens who have reached retirement age are forced to continue working in order to survive.

SOURCE: thairesidents.com

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Bangkok

Tax on salt content being considered

Greeley Pulitzer

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Tax on salt content being considered | The Thaiger

The Excise Department is considering imposing a tax on the salt content of food to encourage food producers to reduce the sodium content of snacks, instant noodles and seasoning cubes.

The director of the Office of Tax Planning said that the department is discussing a limit on the amount of sodium food can contain, in line with the standard set by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is 2,000 milligrams of salt per day.

In reality, Thai people consume an average of 1,000 milligrams per meal, making their daily intake well above WHO guidelines, according to the director.

He said any tax imposed would be at a level which would encourage food producers to reduce the sodium in their processed food without being punitive, adding that the proposal isn’t intended to generate more tax revenue, but to help protect the health of consumers. Excessive sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure and kidney disease.

Fish sauce, soy sauce and salt would not be taxed.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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News

Water shortage warnings in 22 provinces

Greeley Pulitzer

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Water shortage warnings in 22 provinces | The Thaiger

People living in 22 Thai provinces are being warned to prepare for shortages of drinking water during the upcoming dry season, due to start on November 1st.

The warning was issued by the National Water Resources Office, citing low levels in reservoirs, which are the main sources for tap water production waterworks in 22 provinces.

Areas at risk identified by the office are in northern, north-eastern, eastern and southern provinces.

Measures have been adopted by agencies charged with dealing with water shortages. including dredging water channels to allow greater volumes of water to flow into reservoirs, drilling underground wells, enlarging storage ponds and the purchase of water to supply to those in urgent need.

The Royal Irrigation Department has announced that people should use water sparingly.

There are currently about 6 billion cubic metres of usable water in reservoirs in the affected provinces, with 5 billion cubic metres reserved for consumption and ecological preservation, leaving only 1 billion cubic metres for use in agriculture.

This means farmers in the Chao Phraya river basin may not be able to grow a second crop of rice this year.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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