Bumrungrad adding ICU beds
Bumrungrad International Hospital (BH) plans to expand its intensive care unit (ICU) by a further 24 beds from 63 in order to support elderly patients.
The hospital operator plans to expand in two phases during 2020-22, with 12 beds for each phase.
Worakij Chalermskulrat, chief of critical care medicine and pulmonology, said the hospital has prepared a building to accommodate the plan at the healthcare unit in Bangkok.
"The expansion is to support increasing numbers of senior citizens in Thailand, and this trend raises demand for medical and healthcare services rapidly," Dr Worakij said. "The hospital has to prepare to deliver the critical care to ICU patients as fast as possible."
He said ICU patients are divided into two general types.
The first type is patients with acute life-threatening conditions such as heart failure, respiratory conditions, dangerously low blood pressure, kidney failure and other organ failures.
The second type is patients who are likely to get worse after surgery and need to be closely monitored for internal bleeding.
Sukanyada Ratanakulchaiwat, division director of critical care and emergency services, said there are roughly 12,000-14,000 ICU patients at the hospital, equal to 5-10 patients a day.
The hospital has 63 beds to support all ICU patients, she said.
In 2018, ICU patients at the hospital were 52% non‑Thais and 48% Thais. Of the foreign group, 16% were expats and 32% were tourists who came to Thailand for treatment.
Ms Sukanyada said Bumrungrad has 50 partner hospitals both in Thailand and abroad to serve transfer services to the hospital.
Apart from the expansion of ICU beds, the hospital expects to add 40-50 nurses to serve the new ICU capacity, she said.
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam are the largest foreign patient segments for Bumrungrad, followed by patients from the Middle East, Ms Sukanyada said.
"Cambodia and Myanmar represent 30% of patients, while patients from Oman account for 20% and others stand at 20%," she said.
In total, Bumrungrad sees about 1.2 million patients a year, both Thais and foreigners. The hospital has 580 beds now.
Thailand is a global destination for medical services. The top spot goes to the US, followed by Britain and Japan.
BH shares closed on Wednesday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 169.50 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 182.9 million baht.