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Published: January 15th 2018
Today we visited two locations: Donkeaw Health Center and the Bagkok-Chiang Mai Hospital. The morning went so well, and I could have cried by the beauty of all I was seeing and experiencing. The community center was ranked number one for community hospitals in Thailand for good reason. They showed us a movie clip about their hospital and offered facts about all they do. It was unbelievable how they got to where they are now. First they took the risk of shifting from ministry of public health to ministry of internal services in hopes of getting more money in the long run even though they could not be promised dependable and stable financial income. They also went from house to house in the district to survey what each household’s conditions were such as disabled and bedridden Thai citizens to get an idea of what they were up against and how they should go about providing services. The most amazing part to me was the the ability to incorporate the citizens with disability into the clinic as well as the volunteers that help run the clinic. It is so cool to see how the community hospital incorporates the citizens with disability by offering jobs to them at the client which help these people financially and with their time. It offers them a way to be productive and feeds into the positive cycle of creating a product of the hospital in order to keep the hospital running so that these people can continue to be in a positive working environment as well as being taken care of. It was also amazing how people from the community volunteer to make house visits and provide care to bedridden patients such as bed baths. In America we can barely get people to do this even though they get paid. For the most part, people here are incredibly giving of not just their resources but their time. They know what is most important in life as they constantly feed into the people around them. I definitely want to do a better job at this when I go home, possibility looking into an organization to volunteer with on the regular.
Once we finished learning about the hospital, we checked out the facility which made me even happier. Half of the building was for thai massage. It was packed. There were probably 10 patients getting massages as we went through. It is very common to get a massage to relieve pain before trying any kind of chemical means. I love the natural approach, especially because they are not opposed to other forms of helping but use natural resources as the first line of treatment. I think God has given us many natural resources for a reason an it’s so amazing to see people from different backgrounds and cultures use these resources wisely and creatively. I could have stayed in the facility all day with the wonderful natural scents sifting through the air and the quiet dripping of the water fountains. To top it all off, we were taught how to make fresh compresses, including chopping up the ingredients and tying them up in a perfect little cloth.
Unfortunately, the next leg of our day left us all a little frustrated. Bangkok-Chiang Mai is an absolutely beautiful hospital, but it was not at all practical for Thai people. Their model seemed to be based on business, money, success, and international business. There was a disconnect between their motto and their product. They wanted to show empathy, but they seemed to only show empathy for those who could pay for it. It was difficult to see such a gap between the private and government run hospitals. The private hospital had an amazing amount of resources but seemed to have very few patients while the government hospital had very little resources with an abounding number of patients flooding through the hospital each day. I did realize that my personality kicked in today. As an INFP, I tend to believe that all people are good. They are not perfect but are good and have the potential to grow. They may just need some guidance, so when everyone was bashing the director of international affairs, I spend way too much time defending him than allowing myself to process what I was experiencing. I was not okay with the disparity between the hospitalities based on patients’ wealth, but I just felt that their hospital was based on a completely different model, one that could not even be compared to the hospital we worked at last week. It’s very frustrating to me when people make black and white comments such as someone is manipulative. We do not know his background, and we do not know the whole story. I will have to continue evaluating what I saw today since I spent a lot of my time trying to control my reaction so that I would continue to love well and not react out of frustrations or misunderstandings in communication.
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