29 July 2021, Bangkok- Hospitals under Principal Healthcare Company have worked with businesses and foundations to set up a field hospital to Ministry of Public Health standards as the government races to speed up care amid overwhelming demand for private and public hospital beds in the 3rd phase of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Principal Healthcare is cofounding the field hospital with MQDC, EEC Engineering Network, T&B Media Global, Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation, Ahriyavraromp Foundation, and Buddharaksa Foundation.
Each partner has assisted for construction, AC systems, and wastewater treatment that optimize safety for patients and healthcare teams, including all the facility’s operators, the overall environment, and the physicians and nurses who care for patients and provide public healthcare.
The cofounding non-profits – Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation, Ahriyavraromp Foundation, Buddharaksa Foundation – will provide ongoing support.
The field hospital will be at Soi Wat Palad Priang, Bangna-Trad KM 5, Bang Kaeo, Bang Phli, Samut Prakan.
The fabric building will have AC and ventilation systems to ensure safety within and around the hospital. The hospital’s six sections will have a total of 450 beds for patients in the “green” and “yellow” categories. Principal Healthcare hospitals have expanded their ICU capacity to treat people in acute need including patients from field hospitals.
Dr. Athiwat Noiprasit, Chief Performance Coach, Risk and Quality Officer of Principal Healthcare and Director of Princ Suvarnabhumi Hospital, said: “This is the first collaboration by the private sector to help the government set up field hospitals. Princ Suvarnabhumi Hospital, a subsidiary of Principal Healthcare, has worked with MQDC, EEC Engineering Network, T&B Media Global, Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation, Ahriyavararomp Foundation, and Buddharaksa Foundation in cooperation with authorities in Bang Kaeo and Samut Prakan, one of the most strictly regulated provinces in the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Princ Suvarnabhumi Hospital is only 5 km from the field hospital, a journey of less than 10 minutes, and we have the support of medical teams from the group’s hospitals. Our 11 hospitals are helping with equipment and staff to deal with the epidemic. We closely monitor symptoms through telehealth. COVID-19 patients are currently occupying almost our entire bed capacity. Three hospitels with a total of 400 beds are almost at constant 100% occupancy. Hundreds of ‘green’ patients with mild symptoms are still isolating at home.
“Setting up a field hospital through public-private cooperation for the first time will not only assist the local community. It is also lightening the burden on medical personnel and helping hospitals better isolate patients with no or few symptoms at the field hospital. If their symptoms change or worsen, patients will be immediately admitted to hospital. The hospital has expanded its ICU facilities with 60 more rooms for a total of 85 partly to support the field hospital. If the condition of patients deteriorates, the hospital will be able to give them prompt care and support.”
Mr. Visit Malaisirirat, CEO of Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited (MQDC), said: “The field hospital has a composite structure for speedy construction. Inside it will have enhanced health safety for both patients and staff. Colors will clearly distinguish zones, for example. The red zone will be the patient zone. The green zone will be a safe zone where staff can rest. We have worked with 8 leading construction firms including Siphya Construction and Visavapat. There will be 450 beds, 225 for male and 225 for female patients, mainly for ‘green’ patients but including 20 separated beds for ‘yellow’ patients, along with equipment for those who need oxygen. High-flow ventilators have been arranged for patients with severe symptoms and pulmonary infection.
“Obodroid Corporation has given support by providing ‘Pinto’ robots, which are being widely used in hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak. Twelve robots will deliver medicines, food, drinks, and any essential items to patients to reduce the risk of infection for medical staff.
“Remote communication between medical staff and patients by ‘Kaitomm’, a telemedicine system developed by Obodroid, will help teams communicate with patients and monitor their symptoms, reducing infection risk for staff, saving on protective equipment, and raising efficiency.
“MQDC would like to thank Princ Suvarnabhumi Hospital and all the cofounders, including Bang Kaeo Subdistrict Municipality and Samut Prakan Province in the public sector, as well as the organizations from all sectors that have given us the opportunity to participate in this project.”
Mr. Kecha Thirakomen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EEC Engineering Network, said: “EEC, its staff, and all its people are delighted to jointly set up this field hospital. EEC has over 40 years of expertise in hospital design and has prepared this field hospital to meet the standards and prevent the risk of airborne infection to best safeguard patients and medical staff.
“The AC system in the wards provides 100% fresh air from outside the building, filtered to be clean and cool. Cooling is supplied directly to each bed to ensure hygiene. Air flows directly to the foot of the bed and is extracted at the head by the exhaust fan. The air that each patient receives in each bed is therefore not circulated from other areas in the building.
“The hospital is designed with negative air pressure to prevent infection spreading to the surroundings. Before being released outdoors, air passes through a HEPA filter with a filtration efficiency of 99.9% and is UVGI sterilized and discharged at a high altitude upwind.
“Airflow and air pressure in each area are designed to separate clean and contaminated air to safeguard frontline personnel.”
Mr. Ekkasitha Chalermrattawongz, Chief Production and People Officer of T&B Media Global (Thailand), said: “T&B and its affiliates are delighted to have helped establish this field hospital. Building a field hospital addresses the daily rise in COVID-19 patients, now overwhelming hospital bed capacity.
“The field hospital will also improve access to medical care and support the government’s push to expand field hospitals through a network of partners: Principal Healthcare, MQDC, EEC Engineering Network, Dhanin Tawee Chearavanont Foundation, Ahriyavraromp Foundation, and Buddharaksa Foundation. We are all working together to make this project a success, whether through fundraising, construction, or setting up systems and providing convenience and safety for patients, medical staff, and all stakeholders.
“This field hospital is a beacon of hope reflecting the intention of the private sector. Volunteering is another force in helping society, relieving the suffering of the people and lightening the burden on the government so Thailand can get through the COVID-19 crisis with support from every sector.”
The field hospital is currently being prepared to accept patients from August. Contact details will be announced later.
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