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Field hospital ‘corruption’ is fake news, says Health Ministry

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Rumours of corruption in setting up Thailand’s largest field hospital are fake news, the Public Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Bussarakham Hospital in Nonthaburi’s Impact Muang Thong Thani exhibition centre cost THB13 million, not THB200 million as falsely claimed by internet rumours, said Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn, deputy permanent secretary at the ministry. He added that the new facility also treats general patients as well as Covid-19 cases.

Thongchai was responding to a social media post allegedly showing a 50-bed field hospital set up by volunteers that cost just THB170,000, and comparing it with Bussarakham Hospital.

Opened by the prime minister and health minister last Friday, Bussarakham currently has 1,092 beds but can be expanded to 5,000 beds. It treats Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms, operating with a staff of 20 doctors, 130 nurses and 10 pharmacists, said the ministry.

A total of 267 patients have been admitted to Bussarakham Hospital in the four days since opening, 61 of them with moderate symptoms. Some patients are being treated with oxygen.

“If a patient needs a high-pressure oxygen machine, we can take care of it. There are also negative pressure rooms,” said Thongchai.

Patients who develop severe symptoms will be transferred to Ramathibodi or Siriraj hospital.

Bussarakham Hospital occupies 20,000 square metres in Impact’s Challenger Hall and is divided into two zones: a 270-bed area for patients requiring oxygen and an area for general patients. Also provided is an artificial-grass garden with sofas and television for patients to relax. Meanwhile, the Department of Mental Health is arranging stress-busting activities at the hospital, which also offers toys for young patients.

Published : May 18, 2021

By : The Nation