February 15, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. – Khon Kaen University held a contract signing ceremony for the leasing of a piece of royal property land from the Treasury Department. The purpose is to construct an excellence medical center or the “Medical Hub”. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., Predisent of Khon Kaen University signed this contract, with Assoc. Prof. Apichat Jirawutthipong, M.D., Dean of the Faculty of Medicine signing as a witness. On the part of the Treasury Department, Miss Benjarat Rachadamart, the Director for Khon Kaen province Treasury Department signed the contract, with Mrs. Napawan Na-jamuen, Director of the Royal Property Management signing as a witness. Administrators of both parties attended the ceremony, which took place at Sarasin Room, 2nd Floor, Sirikunakorn Building, Office of the President, Khon Kaen University.
Miss Benjarat Rachadamart said, “Congratulations to Khon Kaen University for receiving the approval to rent the land of the Royal Property, Registration No. KK 1955, Nai Muang Sub-district, Muang District, Khon Kaen. The Treasury Department sees the importance of medical service and people’s health. This will enable the efficient use of the royal property land for public benefits and for health services without considering the income or economic status of the people. KKU is an institution that prepares quality doctors for the society, which is under efficient and effective administration of the administration team. We can see that Khon Kaen University is ranked the first in the Northeast. The signing of the Royal Property Land Lease today is the beginning of the University’s construction of the Excellence Medical Center, which will provide equal health care service to all.”
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., Predisent of Khon Kaen University explained about the background of the area to construct the Medical Hub, “The former user of the land was Khon Kaen University. We transferred this piece of land to the Office of Groundwater Area 4. Now, it is necessary for the university to build the Medical Hub, so we asked the Treasury Department to negotiate with the Office of Groundwater so that we can expand the hospital area. The office of Groundwater has now relocated. KKU has allocated an amount of 200 million baht for construction of the new building at the relocated place.”
“However, the construction of the Medical Hub is still slow. In 2015, Khon Kaen University became an autonomous university. Formerly, we did not have to pay the rental of the Treasury Department’s land. Becoming an autonomous university means we have to pay the rental according to the Royal Property Act. However, Khon Kaen University is a non-profit making institution and is building a hospital that will benefit the public. Therefore, we are authorized reduction of the rental at the rate of 3 baht per square wa, or about three hundred thousand baht a year, just like the Red Cross institutes, Government enterprises, etc. We are grateful to the Department of Groundwater Resources, and the Office of Groundwater Area 4, for returning the piece of royal property land for us to use.”
The President went on saying, “For the construction of the Excellence Medical Center, it was because there are 1,200 beds at Srinagarind Hospital at present and 200 beds at Queen Sirikit Heart Center, totaling 1,400 beds. This is not sufficient to serve the patients. We have found it necessary to transfer some patients to Khon Kaen Central Hospital. Therefore, we came up with the project to expand the hospital, which has been approved by the University Council. The expansion means a higher proportion of beds and more benefits among the public. The Northeast proportion is at present 1 bed/ 600 citizens. The whole country’s proportion is 1/400 and in Bangkok, it is 1/100 only, which is equal to developed countries. With the Medical Hub, there will be advanced medical technologies and equipment as well as specialists in different fields. There will be greater capacities in terms of operations and treatment of complicated diseases, which can also be transferred from other hospitals.”
“There will be 3 benefits arising from the Medical Hub. First, the medical service will be expanded, more efficient, and of higher quality. Secondly, more doctors and specialists in different fields can be trained. With 600 more beds, KKU will be able to produce 300 doctors; at present, the capacity on only for 150 doctors. This is because training of specialists requires training venues. Finally, research and in-depth innovation research can be conducted under collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Associate Medical Sciences. The KKU Health Care Innovation Center can be established for inventing innovations and medical equipment, which means we do not have to import these. Patients will be more efficiently taken care of. In terms of the elderly, the Faculty of Architecture will join in designing a safe accommodation place for them in the future.”
The Medical Hub construction project is a mega-project that will commence soon under the budget of 4,000 million baht, and on roughly 32 rais of land. The construction company is Christiani & Neilsen Thailand, (Public Company). The building has been designed by Architect 110 Co. Ltd. The Supervising Company is ATT Consultant Co. Ltd. When completed, the Medical Hub will greatly benefit the people in the Northeast and the regions nearby.
News: Wachara Noichompoo
Photos: Wachara Noichompoo and Natthawut Jaruwong