In the last two issues of Hua Hin & Cha-Am Today we’ve featured articles about two Cha-Am services.
In November we reported about the Cha-Am Hospital. The focus of that report was to consider the challenges of providing such a public service on a limited budget. We also wanted to suggest that readers may wish to reconsider spreading ‘bad news’ stories heard from the friend of a friend who had been told by his wife etc……………………… you know how bad news travels fast.
In a similar vein the Highway Police Rescue Service may also have an image problem. In this case a popular conception is that they are really out there for their own agenda, not just rescuing accident or other victims as ‘Good Samaritans. Allegations of kickbacks from receiving hospitals being a common topic.
Now for a real story; a sequel based on personal experience. I was the writer of the initial stories, but at the time I had no idea that I would soon be in need. My first motorcycle accident (and first ever hospital admission) happened on 4th December. I have little memory of the actual event, but the bottom line is I suffered some forehead lacerations and a badly broken toe requiring surgery and three nights in hospital.
I “came to” flat on my back in the Rescue Vehicle with little memory of the accident itself but with reassurances all round that I was in safe hands. I learnt later that the vehicle arrived at the scene in less than 10 minutes. First of all no suggestion of an unauthorised trip to a private facility, just straight to the Cha-Am Hospital. My admission was immediate with attentive staff and doctors showing a professional and concerned approach.
After some immediate treatment an assessment included the need for surgery without delay, immediate ambulance transport to the Pra Chomklao Government Hospital in Petchaburi followed; again no suggestion of any upgrade. Surgery followed soon after admission, without fuss and with minimal discomfort. When it was then revealed that I did have accident insurance I was transported to Petcharat Private Hospital in the morning without delay.
Petcharat Hospital is regarded as one of the leading private hospitals in the region. It seemed apparent to me that they approved of the procedures leading to my admission there. I spent the next two nights recovering and it’s true to say that a private ‘suite’ for the last two nights made a difference to the overall hospital experience.
It’s now been over a week since my discharge. The daily visits to Cha-Am Hospital for the dressing of my ‘wounds’ has been reduced to every few days. My last visit today, in part, prompted this story. As usual the wait for attention was less than ten minutes and every time this has been pain free professional consultation and treatment.
The only other foreigner in the casualty ward where I was treated today was complaining; not about the hospital, but about her traumas related a dog bite. Heard that before?
The fee for today’s visit? – 70 THB. In fact to the total bill for the two government hospitals I attended, including the surgery was less than 12,000 THB and covered by my insurance.
The message is that all these facilities care. What these public services really need is support not criticism.
Sponsorship that I often hear about is typically focused on higher profile and probably already well supported facilities. I guess that’s more ‘sexy’ for the sponsors, but does it go to where it’s most needed?
My thanks for all the people involved in my ‘rescue’ and treatment. My first hospital experience could have been a whole lot worse!
P.S. Accident insurance is not expensive, less than 7,000 THB a year; it’s worth it!