Before the opening of Bangkok Hospitals first mental department, Bangkok Mental Health Rehabilitation and Recovery Center (BMRC), only a few places have been offering high-end treatment of mental patients in Thailand. According to director of the BMRC Apisamai Srirangson, the 17 beds in private facilities throughout the country are dwarfed by the 7000 in public institutions.
A lack of private beds is one of the reasons why representatives from 6 different embassies attended the opening. Consular officer Einar Davis from the Norwegian embassy thinks there is a significant need for high quality psychiatric treatments in Thailand.
“A lot of the treatment facilities in Thailand are almost comparable to Scandinavian psychiatry in the 60’s. This is the first time quality treatments are available in Bangkok” Einar Davis says.
Quality comes at a price
While the BMRC is presenting an alternative to public treatments, this alternative is a rather expensive one. Danish Consul Birgit Sarah Carlstedt asses, that only a few of the Danish citizens who need this service, can actually afford it.
With a daily price up to 19000 THB for inpatients the new psychiatric ward provides some of the priciest treatments in Thailand. The price, however, does not scare the Norwegian representatives. They might use the facility to stabilize citizens before sending them home for further psychiatric treatment.
“This is not just another place where you lock up people. The price is within our budget range and we strongly consider using the facility” Einar Davis says.
But with room for a mere 7 inpatients, Einar Davis is concerned that the MBRC will face capacity problems. In the future he would like to see more high quality psychiatric wards in places with a large population of Norwegian expatriates, like Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Phuket.