The Government is proceeding with its plan to expand the “sky doctor” system covering remote areas across the country in order to provide people with greater access to quick medical services and ensure safety for patients and tourists.
Government Spokesperson Chai Wacharonke said that the Prime Minister had assigned the Ministry of Public Health to further develop the sky doctor system, with the use of helicopter emergency medical services, to take doctor teams to remote areas, high mountains, islands in the sea, or urban areas with traffic congestion.
The doctor teams will provide initial treatment and bring emergency patients, who are ill, or injured, or need urgent care, to hospitals. This will save the lives of patients, reduce the mortality rate, and prevent disabilities.
The helicopter emergency medical services will also facilitate the transfer of emergency patients for treatment in high-level referral hospitals. They will also be upgraded to high international standards to handle medical emergencies with greater efficiency.
The Government Spokesperson said that the sky doctor system would bolster the favorable image of Thailand in terms of tourism. At present, Thailand uses sky doctor teams in many areas with difficult access, especially in northern and southern regions.
He said that providing emergency patients with an equal opportunity to have quick and inclusive treatment is the key to the sky doctor system. The Government would continue to push for the expansion of this system to cover all health regions nationwide.
Statistics show that the sky doctor system launched operations 401 times from 2021 to 2023 in three health regions, namely Health Region 1 (Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phrae, Nan, Phayao, Lampang, Lamphun, and Mae Hong Son), Health Region 2 (Tak, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok, Uttaradit, and Sukhothai), and Health Region 11 (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga, Ranong, and Chumphon).