Brunei, Thailand to boost health cooperation

National 3 minutes, 48 seconds


MEDICAL professionals including doctors and nurses under the Ministry of Health (MoH) will be engaging closely with BNH Medical Centre Limited in Thailand for training, capacity building and knowledge transfer so patients here receive the highest clinical outcomes.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on health cooperation between His Majesty’s government and the Thai government was inked yesterday as both sides could learn from each other and continue to improve service deliveries.

The MoU was signed by MoH’s deputy permanent secretary (policy) Dr Hazri Hj Kifle and Head of Services (Planning) Dr Sylviana Hj Morris; while CEO of BNH Medical Centre Limited Dr Chairat Panthuraamphorn and its director Dr Piyapatr Nabhawacharakul signed for Thailand.

Present to witness the ceremony were MoH permanent secretary Hj Zakaria Hj Serudin and Thai Ambassador to Brunei Biravij Suwanpradhes.

Dr Hazri told The Brunei Times that the MoU was a platform for the two parties to explore alternative options to enhance the quality of medical services in Brunei and vice versa.

“The main objective under this MoU is to achieve getting the highest clinical outcomes for our patients. This is related to one of our structural priorities to enhance the quality of our service delivery to the people of Brunei,’’ he said.

Apart from clinical outcomes, the deputy permanent secretary said they would like to have capacity building both ways. “We will be having exchanges for knowledge sharing and expertise for both our doctors and nurses, among others.’’

The MoU also entails having patients here being sent to Bangkok for treatment if their particular treatment was unavailable.

“It will also enable our professionals to join the professionals in Bangkok for the procedure,’’ he added.

He said the scope of treatments where patients will be sent to Bangkok is currently open. He noted two Bruneian patients have already been sent to BNH Medical Centre Limited to date, where one of them was an orthopaedic patient.

“Before the signing of the MoU, we already had a joint seminar with the Thai delegation yesterday to look at the potential collaboration in terms of research. It is not just clinical but research as well between both sides.

“What is important now that the MoU has been signed is what we are going to do with the MoU. We want our collaboration to be active,’’ he said.

Meanwhile Dr Panthuraamphorn said he looked forward to the exchange of medical professionals from both sides where they can learn from each other’s strengths.

“I think in Brunei hospitals, you have a well done-up system. Yesterday, I went to the Brunei Cancer Centre (TBCC) and I was amazed and it inspired me a lot. They have excellent facilities and they have a system which provides holistic care for patients.”

He added TBCC also has a state-of-the art radiotherapy machine.

“That machine is very accurate and efficient. We do not have this in our hospitals, and the TBCC owns it — the third of its in the world.’’

Dr Panthuraamphorn said the MoU will be a win-win situation for both Thailand and Brunei because apart from academic cooperation in training, capacity building and knowledge exchange, they will look to send their cancer patients to TBCC in future.

The BNH Medical Centre Limited is the first international private hospital in Thailand, set up by the expatriate community in 1898.

The Ministry of Health, in a statement, said BNH Medical Centre Limited is a first class international hospital that provides health education needs for Thais, foreign diplomatic representatives and their families, and foreigners from more than 150 countries. Approximately 40 per cent of the patients in the hospital are international patients.

The hospital is also equipped with the expertise and state-of-the-art medical equipment to provide world-class medical services in Thailand.

Through the MoU signing, the ministry said it will enhance cooperation especially in the field of medicine in accordance with the best practices not only in Thailand but throughout the world.

The Thai delegation from BNH Medical Centre Limited are currently on a four-day working visit to several medical and educational institutions in the country to discuss further areas of cooperation that have been identified.

On August 31, a joint seminar was held at the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa’adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS) at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), where medical professionals from MoH and UBD academics, along with professionals from the BNH group shared knowledge, findings and best practices on health issues.

Both parties also discussed the potential of collaborative research that can be explored during the seminar.

The Brunei Times