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Great care - seven days a week

Jul 01. 2016
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By Patcharee Luenguthai

Mahachai Hospital comes up with a new weekend clinic to ensure that patients enjoy timely and effective treatment
PATIENTS have long avoided hospitals over the weekend out of well-justified concerns that fewer senior staff and specialists will be on hand than during the week and that many diagnostic tests cannot be performed. That’s fine if there is nothing urgent about their complaint but urgent cases need prompt treatment no matter the day of the week or the outcome could be disastrous. 
While no research has been conducted locally, Mahachai Hospital Group is responding to international studies that highlight the negative “weekend effect” on the sick with the launch a new weekend speciality medical centre at Mahachai Hospital 1, which ensures the same levels of care and treatment as on a normal working day. In another bonus, prices will also be the same as on weekdays.
The centre , which is known as the “Weekend Hospital” and is based on the concept “Because Care Has No Weekend”, has been under preparation for more than a year and was officially introduced on June 19. 
Pongpat Patnavanich, chairman of Mahachai Group, explained that the new clinic would be of particular benefit to the parents of young people in Mahachai and nearby, who work in Bangkok or other cities and can only return home at weekends. 
“The weekend hospital means that children can take their parents for consultation on their days off and be confident that the service will be top class,” he says.
“Today more and more people from Bangkok are coming for consultation at Mahachai Hospital 1 because they know they will have good access to specialists.”
Pongpat adds that the hospital’s 24-hour cardiac centre was recognised as among the best thanks to highly experienced physicians and well-trained staff. Indeed, since opening, the centre has treated more than 10,000 patients with cardiac catheterisation and performed surgery on some 1,000 heart patients.
Tinnakorn Rujinarong, architect and interior designer, said that he was admitted to Mahachai Hospital for colon cancer treatment 12 years ago. Today, he is in full remission and sees his doctor just for his annual check-up.
“People are often curious why my family and I go to Mahachai Hospital when we live in the Lat Phrao area. They point out that there are many renowned hospitals in Bangkok with highly skilled specialists much nearer to home.
“But it’s not just medical standards, I’m very satisfied with the service here. The doctors are friendly and that makes patients feel comfortable and relaxed. Moreover, the doctors make time to talk about symptoms and give detailed advice on treatment options,” Tinnakorn says.
“I think the weekend hospital will be useful for the patients. In addition to emergency cases, many people find it more convenient to meet specialists at the weekends for their regular check-ups.
Manop Ativanichayapong, executive district director at AIA Thailand, says he trusts Mahachai Hospital because of its strong management system. 
“The team is efficient and works closely together in caring for the patient,” he says of his own experiences of treatment for the bone narrow disorder Polycythemia vera.
Manop agrees that the weekend hospital initiative will be of benefit to people, especially those living in Samut Sakhon province and nearby. 
“It’s not easy to operate the weekend speciality medical centre because it requires doctors and staff to sacrifice their weekends,” he notes.

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