Delivering Care, Wholeheartedly
May 31, 2022
Less than 300 people live in the small community of Saphan Mai, which contains 68 households, located in the Bang Sue District of Bangkok. Uncle Dam, the “community chief” and four community health volunteers help care for the villagers in the community.
Uncle Dam, who is 65 years old, said, “In the past, public health officials in Bangkok would stock over-the-counter medications in the medicine cabinet at the community office. Community volunteers would take turns sitting down to organize and distribute the medicine to the villagers. But lately, the new generation of volunteers have full-time jobs, preventing them from providing a full-time service. As a result, villagers are less and less able to get hold of these medications. Villagers must now head to see the doctor at a Bangkok public health clinic, where it’s certainly a financial burden on most. Having to go see the doctor proves to be very costly, especially when it comes to travel expenses. Many in the community are elderly, disabled, and frail too.”
However, once a month, the Bumrungrad Mobile Clinic, with its team of volunteers and volunteer doctors, provide diagnoses and treatment for general health conditions in this community. This is a great relief for many people in the community. Everyone in need of health assistance would come out to the mobile clinic and receive appropriate quality medical care. With the mobile clinic going to the community, there is no need for basic ailing people to spend money on travelling to a public health clinic.
One patient of the mobile clinic, Kung, a 36-year-old ex-xylophonist suffering from hemiplegia, reports, “Today, I came to see the doctor for an ongoing treatment of rashes on my scalp. My condition was caused by an allergic reaction to the shampoo I used. The medication the doctor prescribed me every month helped greatly with the rash on my head.”
Another patient, 45 year-old Hun, said, “Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, I have been too scared to go see the doctor at a public health clinic. Even though I’m able to receive the government medical care, I’d rather wait to be visited by Bumrungrad. I have diabetes, but I always just try to control my diet. Today, though, I have a stomachache, so I came to see the doctor.”
Lastly, Bunma, who is 88 years old, sat smiling after receiving her medication, saying, "I'm very happy. I have already taken my pills for my leg pain which has prevented me from walking."
Even though visiting the community is quite a difficult task, with the community being located in a difficult-to-access area, the Bumrungrad Mobile Clinic is proud and happy to visit and offer their medical services at no cost to the people.
Photo was permitted to be published.