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
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
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
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
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.