Author Topic: Doctors must speak Thai  (Read 742 times)

Offline thaiga

  • Korat forum specialist
  • *****
  • Posts: 15974
Doctors must speak Thai
« on: August 08, 2012, 02:04:38 PM »
Re: ''Thai medical graduates 'must boost English skills''' (BP, Aug 7)

Reading the article make me very uncomfortable. The statement attributed to Dr Udom Kachintorn, the dean of the faculty of medicine, Mahidol University, a so-called ''medical expert'', asserted that ''limited English skills could make it hard for Thai medical graduates to compete with doctors and nurses from other Asean countries, who can communicate more easily with foreign patients''. That is if they want to make the most of job opportunities under the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

We should not forget that every single medical student in a governmental faculty of medicine is heavily subsidised by taxpayers' money. The subsidy surely is not there to train doctors and nurses to treat foreign patients but rather Thai patients. The huge majority of patients seeking services from doctors are Thai-speaking Thais.

Why should tax money be spent preparing doctors to treat foreign patients? I do not begrudge doctors who are making money treating foreign patients. Good for them! But should future doctors be encouraged to set their goal as doctors of foreign patients? What about average Thais or those under the healthcare scheme? Instead, shouldn't our future medical workers be encouraged to learn Thai properly and speak Thai nicely to their patients? Many of our fellow Thais can't understand a word of English. Shouldn't our future medical workers be reminded who really paid for their education? Why should we jump on to this AEC bandwagon so readily?
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


  • Guest
Re: Doctors must speak Thai
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 02:27:57 PM »
Wasn't it just the other day we had a news article about how Thailand's medical tourism figures had ballooned creating hundreds of billions of baht in revenue, plus jobs, for Thai hospitals?

When I read stuff like this then I seriously have reservations about how well Thailand will co-operate and get along when this Asian union is 'supposed' to happen. I don't think it will play out how they want and the Thais will (are already actually) dragging their heels over lots of stuff as they know privately that they are 'up a certain creek without a paddle' in lots of areas.

Somehow, I just can't see trade barriers coming crashing down with free and fair trade for companies and professional employment opportunities abound for all those capable from within the ASEAN block.....yeah, right!  ::)

It will be interesting and revealing to see how they deal and react to it after interaction with it all for long enough for them to get a bad taste in their mouths from it.   

Offline Johnnie F.

  • Administrator
  • Korat forum specialist
  • *****
  • Posts: 6453
    • Korat-Info
Re: Doctors must speak Thai
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 02:46:34 PM »
Medical science is developed further all the time. Results of research and improvements in pharmaceuticals or other stuff belonging to "the tools" of physicians are published in journals. Those journals are usually business-oriented. That means they can only survive on sufficient demand. I doubt that the number of physicians understanding Thai only is sufficient to support high quality medical journalism to keep information about medical science in Thai language up to date. That doesn't leave Thai medical doctors any alternative to learning English. Or they'll be "outdated" doctors after a while.

Every ambitious doctor will try to get international contacts, attend international meetings etc. Guess what language is usually spoken there? It's a ridiculous assumption that Thai medical doctors would learn English for the sole purpose of communicating with foreign patients. If they're not proficient in English they'll be of less use for the Thai patients as well, because they cannot update their professional skills and knowledge as physicians.