By THE NATION
Among items available for them are rollators, adjustable beds and phlegm suction pumps.
The comprehensive loan services have been provided through a collaboration between the National Health Security Office (NHSO) and the Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administrative Organisation.
“We have provided financial support via the Physical Rehabilitation Fund to local administrative bodies. The Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administrative Organisation has spent the allocated budget on a bank that lends necessary devices for physical rehabilitation to people,” said NHSO secretary-general Dr Sakchai Kanjanawattana.
He added that local administrative organisations could choose how to best rehabilitate local patients.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, the local authority has decided to embrace the Bank of Devices, which Sikhiu Hospital started in 2007.
“Dependent elderly and physically-challenged people may borrow the devices for free,” Sakchai said.
He added that for those who had recovered well enough, the devices should then be returned to the bank when convenient so that others could also benefit from them.
“To users of these loan services, their family expenses will be reduced and they will enjoy a better quality of life,” Sakchai said.
Second Lieutenant Ranongrak Suwanchawee, chief executive of the Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Administrative Organisation, said there were 435,023 elderly people and 87,554 physically-challenged people in her province.
“Their number has been on the rise. And many people in these groups need help with physical-rehabilitation devices,” she said.
Ranongrak said since 2017, a total of 32 community hospitals in Nakhon Ratchasima had begun lending devices to the elderly and those with physical disabilities.
“We have offered similar services at three more clinics in the current year,” she added.
At present, her province has already spent more than Bt11 million on devices that can be loaned.
“We have provided the devices together with long-term care,” she added.
Sikhiu Hospital’s director Dr Aree Chue-dej said her hospital started the bank of devices for patients in 2007 using donations and some parts of budget it could allocate.
“Since last year, we have also received financial support from the Physical Rehabilitation Fund,” she said.
Aree said the devices were loaned not just to the hospital’s patients but also to applicants deemed by the hospital to be in need of help.