Being only 35 kilometres away from Chiang Mai, Lamphun is a perfect location to accommodate the expansion of Chiang Mai, particularly in terms of medicine. The Chiang Mai Medical and Health Hub project was initiated to accommodate health tourism. The infrastructures, the geography, the culture and the long-standing expertise in health sciences at CMU’s Faculty of Medicine are the selling points that attract the attention of foreigners with high purchasing power who look for premium quality medical care, as well as long term stay and travelling potential.
Another important mission of the Faculty of Medicine is the service of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, also known as Suandok Hospital. It is the largest public hospital in the Northern region, whose service covers 17 northern provinces and neighbouring countries. Due to its vital role in local health care, there is the need for academic expansion to develop the skills of the healthcare professionals and accommodate upcoming changes, giving rise to the establishment of the Hariphunchai Medical Centre, located in the Sri Bua Ban sub-district of the Mueang district in Lamphun province.
Prof. Dr. Pongruk Sribanditmongkol, M.D., CMU Vice President, explains that the Hariphunchai Medical Centre is a project that was initiated along with the Medical Hub Project, aiming to build a medical center. The President, Clinical Prof. Niwes Nantachit, saw that since there was already a campus in Lamphun, it would be of great service for the people of Lamphun if the service was to be expanded there as well. Also, CMU medical students would benefit from gaining more diverse learning experiences outside Chiang Mai. This location is appropriate for constructing a 228-bed general hospital that is linked to Suandok Hospital and patients of the Hariphunchai Medical Centre can be transferred to Suandok through the established network. In addition to providing care in the local areas, this would also increase the opportunity for difficult cases to get advanced treatment and to be transferred to Suandok Hospital promptly, if need be.
Also, the Hariphunchai Medical Centre will promote learning and skill development for the healthcare professionals at the Faculty of Medicine, as specified earlier, leading to research about local illnesses, diverse body of knowledge and capability in responding to local needs. Once completed, it will promote local health, involving them in the human-centered healthcare service that addresses society’s needs. The end goal is to achieve the university’s mission of becoming a leading university with great social responsibility and marching towards sustainable excellence.