Thailand promotes rubber as anatomical model material to trigger domestic market


BANGKOK – In another attempt to increase domestic rubber market demand, the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) has signed an agreement with the Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University on development of natural rubber for the manufacture of anatomical models.

The RAOT’s President Praphan Boonyakiat said on Thursday that medical schools in Thailand currently have to import many expensive medical instruments, as well as anatomical models, to be used in medical training.

The two organizations have joined forces to use natural rubber as the main ingredient in producing medical instruments and anatomical models, as well as other learning equipment, which can help cut back costs.

The Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Piyamit Srithara said today that hospitals currently use many items made from rubber, such as patients’ pillows, mattresses, and shoe soles, however hospitals still need to import foreign-made anatomical models for training purposes, costing some 150,000 baht per set, while domestic rubber-made models cost only 15,000 baht per set.

Under this cooperation, the RAOT will be delivering some 3,000 rubber models to Ramathibodi Hospital for medical use. This would help increase domestic rubber demand, and help the country raise the domestic natural rubber usage rate from 15-17 percent to 20-25 percent annually, or increasing domestic consumption to 300,000 tons each year.