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Health & Wellbeing

Chiang Mai International Health Meeting

An MoU signing was held to increase cooperation among member ASEAN nations.

By David Hardcastle
A recent International Health Meeting held at the Empress brought out a few facts regarding medical care in Chiang Mai. There are 3 government hospitals, 11 private ones (in which only 50% of the bed capacity is used at present!), 700 doctors and specialists, 131 private dental clinics and 300 dentists.

Medical promotion covers 5 areas: medical care, dental care, Thai massage, Spas, medical products. A challenge for the makers of the latter is to get them approved by the relevant government departments of ASEAN nations as soon as possible.

In fact, RCEP with a total population of 3,300 million people is far more important and must be an urgent goal for Thailand!

Thailand now does more medical tourism business than Singapore, mainly due to the cost advantages. Thailand needs to improve its English language abilities in the medical field, even import more native teachers. One teacher to 5 students (eg nurses) would be optimum. Thailand needs to keep its nurses and stop them being lured away to jobs in Aus and NZ.

Vice Governor Yokying Worakarn said that the important factors were modern equipment, expert medical professionals and affordable prices in a community of welcoming people. Our most important Lanna distinction was the hospitality of kind and helpful people, in addition to spectacular natural scenery and excellent shopping, he noted.

The first speaker said that more overseas investment is needed in the medical care, up to 49% in each case. By 2015 up to 70% investment will be allowed, but in hospitals only and including at least 1 Thai national. Other ASEAN nations were already seeking investment from Thailand.

Thai nurses can easily get jobs in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand, but we should stop them from leaving. Thailand has an increasing population aged 60 and over who will need health care – and thus nurses – the most.

Inter-ASEAN tourism will increase. The Muslim population is large with a “big level of economic capacity” and Thailand is in a good position to cater for them.

Dr Philip Parry from the United Kingdom, a chiropractor at Rajavej Chiang Mai Hospital not only gave a talk but treated 2 patients on stage! In each case he performed movements on the necks of these 2 ladies which immediately returned their head and arm movements to normal. In both cases the audience heard a loud crack as the bones were moved - but no pain was felt by either patient. Both had been suffering from displaced upper vertebrae – and it should be added that both were his patients already – not selected from the audience at random!

According to Dr Parry, who gave his presentation in fluent Thai as well as English, chiropractic was the 3rd most common reason for people to visit hospitals after medical and dental requirements. Most people visited hospitals because of pain, and 85% of pain disorders can not be diagnosed by x-rays or MRI. Back pain will affect 80% of the population at some point in their lives and 85% of those problems can be diagnosed and treated. Chiropractic was especially effective in the treatment of back, neck, leg, joint and arthritic pain, also headaches, migraines and sports injuries.

Mr Veeraphan Tantipong gave a brief and interesting talk on Apitherapy, that is if you don’t mind the brief and mild pain of being deliberately stung by one of his bees, Mr. Veeraphan promised that 80% of other serious pain could be treated this way, along with arthritis, gout, tendonitis and inflammation. Bees – which he has been keeping and researching for over 10 years – give us pollen, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly as well as honey – all with amazing medical benefits.

There was a large meeting on Japanese medical care in Chiang Mai but it was all in Japanese and there was no translation.
The meeting was held for two days and guests went to the opening of the Lanna Health Fair at Central Airport Plaza.


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Chiang Mai International Health Meeting