Thailand’s free and accessible health care for women

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Thailand’s health care for women in state medical institutions is free and quite extensive. The problem is that a lot of people are not aware the There are such services for free, said Dr. Phanitra Maneeratprasert, gynecologist at Bang Bua Thong Hospital in Nonthaburi Province.

This hospital’s women’s clinic is one of over 130 service points in Nonthaburi, Providing women with health services they need, from reproductive health to maternity care to breast care and Cervical Cancer Screening. In fact, it’s one of over 7,000 Facilities nationwide that offer such care.

Anyone who has the Universal Health Care Card can access it Services.

It is the first time for Lamai Yodmahalabkul, a 55-year-old housewife Visited this hospital and she is already impressed. she was there for cervical cancer screening. She was told they did free HPV DNA Cervical Screening Tests available here every Thursday and differs from the one normally included in the annual health check. “For this case, the doctor said the result has been good for 5 years,” she told Thai PBS World.

Sita Sumleemuang, a 23-year-old mother-to-be, is at the women’s clinic for a maternity check-up. She lives in the neighborhood and has been coming to this hospital since childhood.

This is Sita’s second pregnancy. She doesn’t know how far she is yet. The nurse said judging by her size she could be five months pregnant, but she won’t know for sure until her next appointment a couple days from now.

Sita and her daughter waiting for the maternity check-up. (Photo by Tulip Naksompop Blauw)

12 nurses and 2 doctors work in this clinic. It could be up to 30 patients Visit to maternity care every day and another 10 to 30 patients for other women’s health services. IIn some cases however, The patient only needs to visit specialized nurses on certain services.

That said Dr. Phanitra, in addition to obstetrics, you offer something else outpatient gynecological Services.

“There are also free screening tests. WWe get screened for cervical and breast cancer. It’s available here every Thursday for half a morning. It Is the HPV DNA Cervical Screening Test. It Ia new kind of test. I was the pap swab test, which can only detect cancer cells if they are already present a Abnormality in the area of ​​the cervixx‘ added Dr. Added Phanitra.

dr Phanitra has been working here since he graduated from medical school 3 years ago. She chose this area because when she first experienced the moment of a woman giving birth during her spupils years she felt pleased and impressed and wantededit to be a part of those moments.

dr Phanitra said the hospital can provide quite comprehensive healthcare services. The main problems are that some patients just don’t want to come, even if she assures them the The service is free.

“These are the patients. Some of them say they are too busy with work or don’t know they are pregnant. It delays the (provision of) maternity care. Instead of getting prenatal supplements, they don’t get any. Some appear for the first time when they are more than 30 weeks into their pregnancy. Some show up when they are very close to their due date. Some don’t even show up until they actually give birth,” she added.

dr Olarik Musigavong, a specialist in women’s health at the Medical Council of Thailand, said sexual and reproductive health services in Thailand have improved over the past 20 years. WHat remains problematichowever, is awareness of such services, including accessibility and affordability for different patient groups.

Dr.Olarik eexplained that the main problems are so many are not aware of this Your rights or what services are available to them. Many types of essential care are free, but not everything.

By Tulip Naksompop Blauw

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