By The Nation
Princess Sirindhorn was warmly greeted on her arrival by representatives from Ramathibodi Foundation and the Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital including Emeritus Prof Dr. Kasem Watanachai, Prof Rachata Rachatanawin, Prof Piyamitr Sritara, Khunying Wanna Sirivadhanabhakdi, Khunying Jada Wattanasiritham and Emeritus Prof Termsak Krishnamara.
After the meeting, Princess Sirindhorn inspected the country’s biggest “Healing Rooftop Garden” located on the 10th floor of the hospital.
Prof Piyamitr Sritara, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and president of the Ramathibodi Foundation, reaffirmed the hospital’s commitment to continually increasing efficiency and being the main force in the development of the country’s healthcare service. He spoke of the mega project that aims to raise standard and increase capacity of medical service as well as produce new medical staff – the Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Institute (CNMI), which opened at the end of last year. When operating at full capacity, the CNMI will be able to take 1 million outpatients and 17,000 inpatients per year.
“Moreover, Ramathibodi Hospital plans to open the country’s mid-town ‘Therapeutic Roof Garden’, which is part of our determination to build a truly Green hospital. This garden, which is supported by the Ramathibodi Foundation on the concept ‘Man-healing garden, City-healing garden’, has been built by resurfacing the 10th floor of the Somdech Phra Debaratana Medical Centre. Turning the hard surface into a green space will help absorb rain and heat, thus decreasing the temperature inside the building and purifying the air,” he said.
“This garden is the prototype of holistic treatment and will see ecotherapy being used as part of the healing process as well as for social activities and relaxation.
Asst Prof Supatara Leelapiwat, secretary and executive director of the foundation said: “For more than 49 years, we have served as a fund-raising centre both through donations and sales of souvenirs. We have received generous support from government and private organisations, as well as from the artists who volunteer. They all contribute to the treatment of more than 2 million patients per year through our projects, which include assistance to poor patients, procurement of medical equipment such as Thailand’s first robot for brain surgery, a hybrid surgery room for patients with complicated illnesses that make them unsuited to conventional surgery, as well as medical research and development and the construction of this Therapeutic Roof Garden.
The 1,500-square-metre garden boasts a flower room, a multi-purpose space decorated with paintings of flowers and kanpai Mahidol (the plant that serves as the symbol of Mahidol University) and a pergola, a shaded tunnel walkway and shelter that can serve up to 200 people.
The Recycle Wall has been created from more than 700 recycled saline bags as a plant wall, while the Aroma Garden and Braille Railing are used for therapeutic purposes. The walkway is designed to help gait training and is filled with different sizes of pebbles to alternate weights while walking, and handrails for the blind are covered with the Braille code of the poem “Love Song”, which was written by Princess Sirindhorn.
There is also an urban farming, plant and herb study area for students and others supported by the Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University and a Healing Circle Amphitheatre for holding small to medium sized shows and performances.
Ramathibodi Hospital’s Therapeutic Roof Garden will open soon. This garden is considered a new dimension of sustainable healthcare supported by nature.