By Madeline Gere, Megan Poling, and Lyons Wells
During a primary orientation meeting for the May Term Thailand Course, a question regarding the quality of Thai health care was asked. Han Kim replied, “Oh yeah, the Thai health care system is great. In fact, some people travel there for health care. Medical tourism, ever heard of it?” By many measures medical practice in Thailand is laudable. With a rich history of Thai medical care and progressive advancements, Thai health care has emerged as a leader in medicine.
History of Thai Health Care
Medical care has deep roots in the history of Thailand. Dating back to the early 11th century, there is evidence of intentional efforts to provide healing services to the people. Tools to produce medicines and written instructions for a royal medicinal garden suggest that many empires studied and manipulated the healing properties of their natural environments (Hays, 2008). During the 14th to 18th century, health care continued to grow. Some major advancements included royal drug dispensaries, drug stores and royal documents detailing the effects and directions for using specific medicines (Hays, 2008). The study and expansion of medicine was an integral part of many historical eras in Thailand.
Western medicine was slowly incorporated into Thai health care. The French and Portuguese were responsible for introducing international methods of medicine and Western hospitals to the Thai (Hays, 2008). When King Phet Racha banned foreigners from the
Continue reading A Brief Overview of Health Care in Thailand
By: Savanna Brown & Abby Sebastian
Brief Pathophysiology of HIV and Aids:
How it’s spread:
- HIV is a retrovirus spread through bodily fluids (blood, semen, vaginal and rectal fluids, breast milk) not through casual contact
- Sexual contact is the most frequent mode of transmission
- Once in the body, HIV body attacks T cells (which are key component of the immune system), incorporating its DNA into the cell’s DNA, which then enables the cells to reproduce large amounts of HIV into the blood
Course of infection
Continue reading HIV/AIDS In Thailand
By: Caitlyn Jasumback & Brolin Mawejje
Thailand has had a universal health care system since 2002. This Universal Health Care (UHC) policy has resulted in a 99% coverage rate (1). This system is based off of the “30-baht health scheme”. This means that each individual will not be required to spend more than 30 baht, or about 84 cents, per visit for either inpatient or outpatient care, including drugs (4). This system continues to be based off of primary care, which means an individual sees a general practitioner and then a specialist will be recommended if needed. Thai citizens with a Universal Coverage Health card get healthcare for free, except for on Saturdays (3). This system has been very effective in providing healthcare to Thai citizens. Continue reading Thailand Health Care System
By: Nicole Roberts & James Bacigalupo
Along with the service projects at the Ban Toong Ting school, we were also able to help aid the Thai Nursing students with health checks. Health checks are extremely important, especially when done on the children of an area because they can tell a lot about the overall health of the community. Two of the most important areas of health to check are height and weight. Abnormal height or weight for a child can determine a great majority of health issues in a community. While helping the nursing students, we assisted in taking the height and weight of every student at the school. We then proceeded to check the body for scrapes or abrasions, or anything abnormal with physical features. Next, we would asses any of the scrapes or abnormal physical features and clean them up. Continue reading Health clinics at Ban Toong Ting School
By: Sarah Schafer and Teal Gibo
Today we visited the Mae Tao Clinic. This clinic serves Burmese refugees and the occasional Thai because the refugees are unable to receive care elsewhere.
Some statistics are:
- 300-400 patients are seen daily
- They fit around 250 prosthetics yearly
- About 15 babies are delivered daily
The clinic offered many different services for the patients. Some of these include: eye care, dental care, labor and delivery, basic surgeries, injuries, prosthetics, pediatrics, nutrient deficiencies, and wellness. The clinic was generous enough to give us a tour of all these different areas. We were taken aback by the large number of patents scattered throughout the clinic.
The majority of prosthetic cases we saw were for land mine accidents. This shocked us because everyday we take for granted the fact that in the US we won’t ever step on a land mine. In addition, vaccinations are a daily norm in the United States while here, it’s a rarity for families to receive simple preventative care.
We were astounded by the differences in American healthcare and what was offered at this non-profit clinic. While the same quality of care was provided, the environment was entirely different. For example, in the United States, our hospitals offer labor and delivery rooms that were about the same size as a room at the Mae Tao Clinic where we observed about fifteen different women who were either in labor or who’d just delivered. This goes to show that when treating patients, you must adapt to your situation. Adaptation is also a critical aspect of global citizenship and it was great to see this in acton.
By: Joey Garzarelli and Tawni Johnston
Thailand’s health care system needs many improvements. There are several areas that could be enhanced. There are problems with this system in the urban areas, but they are even worse in the rural areas. In the urban areas, they have problems with the types of doctors and the accessibility of the doctors. On the other hand, the rural areas have problems with the amount of time the doctors are there, and also the means of transportation to the clinics. Many villagers cannot get to the hospitals because they are too far away. The clinics in the rural areas are also very small, but service a large amount of villages, some even 14 km away from the hospital. The Thais have started to improve their health care system by making it more universal. The majority of the population is covered under the Universal Coverage Gold Card, but there are still problems with this system.
Continue reading The Health Care System in Thailand