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Thai-Japan project to offer elderly better 'intermediate care' 

May 21. 2017
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By The Nation

Thai elderly persons will soon receive seamless health and social services after checking out of hospitals to enable them to continue their recovery at home, thanks to an ongoing Thai-Japan cooperation project, National Health Security Office deputy secretary-general Dr Chuchai Sornchamni said. 

Under the five-year cooperation project, three Thai agencies and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) would together foster seamless “intermediate care” for Thai senior citizens – the healthcare and social services provided to elderly patients recovering from ailments and sent home for recovery, Chuchai said. The idea was to promote the patients’ rehabilitation at home, prevent unnecessary urgent trips to hospital, and encourage patients to leave hospitals sooner and be more self-reliant, he added.

Public Health Ministry deputy permanent secretary Dr Somsak Akkasil said “intermediate care” is very important as Thailand is becoming an ageing society and having more patients with chronic illnesses, which often caused physical disability or difficulty that required rehabilitation after treatment. Sending patients such as those who had suffered a stroke or coronary artery disease back home without having fully recovered would deny those people opportunity to access continuous care and rehabilitation, he said. The four-party cooperation, therefore, would be handy in developing community-based “intermediate care”, he added.

JICA’s detailed planning survey team leader Shintaro Nakamura said Thailand had an outstanding community mechanism in the system of “Or Sor Mor” health volunteers to take care of the elderly in the communities. When combined with Japan’s experience and expertise in providing “intermediate care”, each side would benefit from the cooperation and apply in their country’s own context for the people’s benefit.

Chuchai, Somsak and Social Development and Human Security Ministry's Older Persons Welfare Promotion and Rights Protection Division director Piyaporn Chalermchuang, along with Nakamura had signed the programme cooperation document on May 11 in Nonthaburi. Nakamura had visited Thailand with his team from April 23-29 and from May 7-13 to work out details of the technical cooperation programme based on the proposal by the Thai government for the “Project on Seamless Health and Social Services Provision for Elderly Persons” and to discuss and review measures to be taken by the Thai side and JICA.

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