Like his late father HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej, recognised as the world’s Development Monarch, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua has involved himself in improving the country’s public health service, agricultural practices and education.

When it comes to healthcare, the Somdet Phra Yuparaj Hospital project was initiated in honour of the King when he was HRH Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn.

The project, run by government agencies with cooperation from the public through donations, aimed to ensure that people in remote areas, especially those where security was a concern, have access to proper medical care.

Under the project, 30-bed hospitals would be built in remote, vulnerable districts. So far, a total of 21 Phra Yuparaj Hospitals have been opened, all of which have been enlarged and upgraded to meet international standards.

The monarch, when he was Crown Prince, presided over the stone-laying and opening ceremony of each hospital.

Aware of the importance of farming in the Thai economy and culture, HM the King has promoted appropriate rice farming methods. He participated in activities promoting the use of compost in planting rice and the farming of the famous Pathum Thani 1 rice variety.

Under the King’s initiative, a mobile agricultural clinic was set up. The project, which has provided help to farmers, has been under his patronage since 2002.

In education, HM the King has given his patronage to several schools, including Anuratchaprasit School in Nonthaburi and Dipangkornwittayapat in Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Samut Songkhram.

The King has also provided financial support to the Education Ministry in building schools in several provinces.

On the occasion of the New Year 2018, HM the King produced hand-drawn greeting cards offering his best wishes and guidance on happiness for Thais.

Proceeds from the sale of the cards benefit a charity in honour of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej that helps flood victims in the south.

The region was plagued by flooding for months from December 2016. The floods affected almost two million people in 12 provinces, damaging more than 4,000 roads and 2,000 schools as well as other infrastructure.