Health Ministry hails Priest Hospital as model of palliative care

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BANGKOK – The Ministry of Public Health has raised the Priest Hospital as a regional example for palliative care during a meeting with ASEAN delegates.

Director-General of the Department of Medical Services Dr Suphan Srithamma presided over an international academic seminar on the provision of palliative treatment to patients. Among the attendants were medical experts from Thailand and other ASEAN countries who exchanged knowledge and experiences concerning the matter.

On this occasion, the Thai officials declared the Priest Hospital in Bangkok as a model of palliative care, citing that the facility has been equipped with a palliative ward since 2007 to specifically provide such a service to Buddhist monks and novices who are chronically or terminally ill.

In treatment, the hospital has been adhering to a multidisciplinary approach involving physical, mental, psychosocial and spiritual rehabilitation. In 2012, the hospital was granted the Thailand Public Services Award by the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission.

According to the Bureau of Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Public Health, the number of patients suffering from non-communicable diseases in Thailand, especially cancer, is on the rise and so is the number of associated deaths. Under the circumstance, the demand for palliative care is also increasing.