Care in the community

Thaioil's efforts to offer child dental cover, create family health programmes and build an accident and emergency unit saw it winning the PM's Industry Award 2020

It's a normal day at the Thaioil Community Health and Learning Centre, where dozens of people are taking advantage of the cool weather to jog around the track, practice aerobics or strain against their body­weight at various exercise stations.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha presents the Prime Minister’s Industry Award 2020 for CSR to Thaioil chief executive Wirat Uanarumit.

Inside a nearby building, schoolchildren are being offered free dental examinations, while in another room, community residents are having their regular screenings for signs of diabetes or heart disease.

For over a decade, Thaioil has invested in community health and well-being for residents around the energy giant's facilities in Sri Racha, Chon Buri.

The company's DNA has long included a strong commitment to sustainable development and ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance), says Wirat Uanarumit, chief executive of Thaioil.

Thaioil this week received recognition for its efforts, winning the Prime Minister's Industry Award 2020 in the corporate and social responsibility category. The citation cited the company's commitment to improving the health and well-being of communities surrounding its facilities, including projects aimed at offering dental care for children, the construction of an accident and emergency building for Laem Chabang Hospital, and a community health and learning centre for residents.

From left: Wirat Uanarumit; Viroj Meenaphant

Mr Wirat said the company takes a holistic approach to community health, developed with the participation of local authorities, community leaders and health experts.

Over the past decade, the Thaioil Community Health and Learning Centre has offered free dental care for over 50,000 local students. Another 23,000 residents have been screened for disease in an ongoing monitoring project aimed at promoting well-being through diet and exercise.

"For Thaioil, we are absolutely committed to continuing to create value and sustainable development for the community and society," Mr Wirat said.

A student receives a dental checkup at the ThaiOil Dental Clinic in Laem Chabang.

Viroj Meenaphant, executive vice-president for Corporate Governance and Affairs at Thaioil, said the projects have a proactive and reactive element in addressing the healthcare needs of the community.

Exercise facilities, annual screenings and education programmes are aimed at promoting good health from early on, in turn complemented by Thaioil's support for hospital facilities and its sustainable energy programme for healthcare facilities.

"Thaioil will continue to be a pillar of support for building happiness for Thais and Thai society going forward," Mr Viroj said.

In 2019, Laem Chabang Hospital opened its new Thaioil Building, a five-storey, 5,000m² building to handle emergency and accident cases. Started in 2015, the 180 million baht project saw Thaioil tap its engineering experience and technology used in its refinery operations to maximise energy efficiency and hygiene throughout.

Thaioil Community Health and Learning Center, Laem Chabang.

Operating rooms are designed for multipurpose use with positive pressure ventilation systems for safety. Decontamination systems were designed under American National Standards Institute standards. The facility expects to handle at least a million patients per year.

Ramase Ampaipis, director of Laem Chabang Hospital, said the new facility has significantly expanded the capacity of the hospital to offer healthcare to local residents.

"Before, constraints in terms of our hospital facilities limited the opportunities for residents to receive optimal care," he said.

At the Community Health and Learning Centre, the focus is on "community medicine", a proactive effort aimed at raising awareness of health issues for community residents across all age groups.

The programme is based on the Family and Community Assessment Programme, a community medical database programme developed by Prof Urai Jaraeprapa of Walailak University.

The Thaioil acccident and emergency building at Laem Chabang Hospital.

Components include initiatives to collect data about the health of family members to help analyse the overall health of the community (FAP-1); an initiative to review blood sugar and cholesterol levels to monitor the risk of diabetes, hypertension and obesity (FAP-2); a programme to monitor the self-reliance capabilities of senior citizens (FAP-3); a risk assessment for thalassaemia (FAP-4); and programmes to monitor drug usage and support family health (FAP-5 and FAP-6).

The Centre, built in 2010 on 5.5 rai, includes a dental clinic, library, exercise grounds and a Buddha Hall for religious ceremonies. The five examination rooms provide free services for students at eight nearby schools.

Mr Viroj said the centre aims to support community development in a multidimensional manner, including health, education, religion, culture and the environment.

He added that the ongoing commitment to the various projects has helped Thaioil and the project leaders to continuously adapt to improve the results.

Information gained from the dental care programme, for instance, shows how children would benefit from learning about the importance of dental care within not just schools, but also within the household, leading to educational activities aimed at parents.

Mr Viroj said the company monitors the value and success of its initiatives through both local and international third-party community engagement assessments as well as direct evaluations for projects such as the sustainable energy project for healthcare facilities. For instance, 2020 marked the eighth straight year that Thaioil was listed as a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices and the sixth year as an Industry Leader in the global Oil & Gas Refining and Marketing industry in terms of sustainability performance.

Under the sustainable energy programme, the company this year installed a 40.5kW solar energy system at Thanyarak Hospital in Mae Hong Son and a 53.46kW site at Ko Sichang.

Mr Viroj said the programme aimed at helping healthcare facilities improve their energy efficiency and even utilising excess energy for the benefit of the surrounding communities.

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