Nine hospitals and 24 health care centres in Bangkok are currently being equipped with Danish medical appliances. The equipment worth 117 million Danish kroner is being installed by Danish Medical Industry Ltd. A/S – a consortium of Danish medical equipment manufacturers.
The installation started in April last year and is expected to be finished by the end of this year.
“We are talking about a wide range of equipment such as hospital monitors, ambulances and ultrasound and x-ray instruments,” says Stig Gøtzsche, Managing Director of Danish Medical Industry.
“The order is complicated because there are over 500 different kinds of equipment in the package, all main produced by Danish manufactures”, he explains. The main supplier for the project is Philips Medico providing the x-ray equipment.
The project with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (MBA) is so far the third for Danish Medical Industry in Thailand and like the two previous projects, the BMA order is financed through Danida’s Mix Credits Program..
Danish Medical Company
Danish Medical Industry was established in 1995 on the initiative of Radiometer A/S and Dameca A/S – some of the largest manufacturers of medical equipment in Denmark.
“Together with some other companies they put together an equipment package for the Thai Ministry of Public Health worth 340 million Danish kroner, financed likewise through Danida’s Mix Credits Program,” Stig Gøtzsche explains.
“That order comprised of around 50 different products of which 50 percent was manufactured in Denmark and the equipment was installed at 300 hospitals spread out over all of Thailand. As the hospitals were very far apart the implementation this was quite a logistic challenge,” he adds.
Since then, the companies behind Danish Medical Industry have changed. The current shareholders today are Radiometer A/S, Gettinge Danmark A/S and Dameca A/S.
Although the BMA project does not cover as huge a geographical area as in the first two projects, the installation of the equipment is still a complicated affair.
“This time we have fewer hospitals but around 500 different kinds of equipments. It is more complicated here because each hospital has its own needs and they only need one or two pieces of every type of equipment,” Stig Gøtzsche explains.
“Bangkok also has 10 million inhabitants, so although its just one city, its still equipment for twice the population of Denmark,” he adds.
Anurak Thuensiri who is the coordinator and consultant for the BMA project points out that the need in Thailand’s capital is different from other places in the country.
“Bangkok is very different from the rural areas. We need much more advanced equipment here”, he explains. “Thailand only produces the basic medical equipment and some of its current equipment is very old”.
The ambulances in the order are quite complicated in terms of equipment installation.
“We have 12 ambulances in this project. We have the whole range from very simple to very complicated. Some of them have defibrillators for electrical discharge treatment of heart failure patient and other quite advanced equipment,” says Stig Gøtzsche.
The ambulances are assembled in Thailand but the engine and the basic components come from Toyota, Anurak Thuensiri explains.
“The problem is that if we import the whole thing from abroad we cannot find spare parts here,” he says.
A piece of equipment, which is especially complicated to install, is the linear accelerator.
“It’s a kind of must in cancer treatment and none of the public hospitals in Bangkok had one. This is the first one,” Stig Gøtzsche says.
“The linear accelerator which we source from United States needs to be installed in its own building with walls of lead to protect the staff against the radiation,” he explains.
Apart from the linear accelerator, Stig Gøtzsche estimates that all the equipment from Danish Medical Industry will be installed at the end of this year.
“Hospitals in Thailand are comparatively well suited for more advanced Danish equipment. There is no point in delivering something to a hospital in a country where there is no electricity and no water pressure and where the doctors don’t have the knowledge to fully make use of it. But Thailand is blessed with very good doctors. The standard here is just as high as in Denmark, so there are no problems using the equipments. They just don’t have enough of it,” he explains.