Udonthani Cancer Hospital in the northeastern province of Udon Thani is the first medical facility under the Ministry of Public Health’s jurisdiction to pass accreditation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), gaining international approval of the hospital’s nuclear safety standard.
The accreditation now assures the safety of not only the hospital’s medical personnel, but also that of residents in surrounding communities, said Dr Amporn Benjapolpitak, acting director-general of the Department of Medical Services (DMS).
The accreditation is a result of the hospital’s efforts to improve its standards since it started offering nuclear medicine procedures in 2019. This success story will be turned into a model for other medical facilities to learn from, she said.
The DMS, as an academic support body of the ministry, aids efforts by hospitals and healthcare facilities under its wing to improve their standards to keep up with global developments, she said.
As hospitals in the provinces meet the standards for cancer treatment, patients will have better access to quality treatment nearby, she said. “Congratulations to Udonthani Cancer Hospital on this notable success,” Dr Amporn said.
“Now patients in this and neighbouring provinces can be assured they will have easy access to medical treatment which meets international standards,” said Dr Somchai Thanasitthichai, director of the hospital.
Udonthani Cancer Hospital in Udon thani province. (Photo: Udonthani Cancer Hospital Facebook page)
The hospital will also have a learning centre for other hospitals aiming to get accredited under the international nuclear safety standard, he said. Udonthani Cancer Hospital is also seeking accreditation under the IAEA’s Quality Management Audits in Nuclear Medicine (QUANUM) programme, Dr Somchai added.
More than 8,000 patients from Udon Thani and other provinces have received diagnoses using nuclear medicine procedures and received treatment since the hospital started offering services, said Dr Thantip Pholwattana, head of its nuclear medicine department.
Many of these patients had received treatment for the two main types of thyroid disease, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. The hospital has also won an “outstanding” award by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation for its handling of Type 3 and 5 radioactive materials used for medical purposes.