Bumrungrad taps spinal injuries niche

Bumrungrad taps spinal injuries niche

Dr Suthon (left) and Dr Verapan with some of the imaging equipment used at the Bumrungrad Spine Institute.
Dr Suthon (left) and Dr Verapan with some of the imaging equipment used at the Bumrungrad Spine Institute.

Bumrungrad International Hospital has a new addition to its health network, the Bumrungrad Spine Institute, as the group seeks to expand its services to the mid-market segment.

The Bumrungrad Health Network enables patients at partner hospitals to obtain access to the latest medical technology and experienced specialists.

The partner hospital model aims to provide treatment for middle-class people in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces, as well as buyers of private health insurance.

"Bumrungrad is ready to face the challenges that come with globalisation. Our mission is to be a world-class holistic health care provider," said Suthon Chutiniyomkarn, chief executive of the Bumrungrad Health Network. "We have the latest medical technology and our customer care services are continuously improved to serve our growing number of clients."

The network began with the Bumrungrad Spine Institute. In Thailand, the number of people suffering from spinal cord diseases has increased.

The risk factors for spinal fractures include ageing, bad posture, spine and muscle disorders, and accidents. Common symptoms are disc herniation and lateral spinal stenosis, leading to lower back pain.

Some 70% of people with back problems are 40-59, and 250,000-500,000 people suffer from spinal cord diseases each year.

"Bumrungrad Spine Institute is the only institute in Thailand pioneering endoscopic lumbar discectomy, which leaves only an 8- to 11-millimetre incision," said Verapan Kuansongtham, director of the institute. "Professor Sebastien Ruetten, the German physician who invented endoscopic lumbar discectomy, led the founding of the first training centre for the procedure in Asia, co-founded 10 years ago by Bumrungrad and the Saint Anna-Herne Hospitals."

The Bumrungrad Spine Institute has treated patients since 2010 and has 40 specialists. Some 9,000 patients with spinal cord injuries have undergone operations and interventions, like laser surgery or radiotherapy since its founding.

"We would like to expand the network to 4-5 partner hospitals in neighbouring provinces," Dr Suthon said. "Princ Hospital Suvarnabhumi is a partner, and we are discussing expansion with a few others. We want to partner with provincial hospitals."

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