Illness, unfortunately, is a part of life and as a consequence, healthcare system development is vital. By 2025, Thailand will have nearly 15 million senior citizens, which accounts for more than 20 percent of the entire population, making Thailand an aging society. It is imperative that young adults are prepared for the aging process and have the concept of active aging in mind. There should also be facilities that specialise in treating chronic and geriatric diseases. CMU’s proactive strategy on food, health, and geriatric care has given rise to the construction of the CMU Senior Wellness Centre and Hariphunchai Medical Centre which will extend healthcare coverage to a wider area.
CMU Senior Wellness Centre, located near the Ping River in the Pa Daet Sub-district of Meuang Chiang Mai, is built to provide elderly care, as well as to educate the elderly and their caregivers on how to stay healthy physically, mentally and intellectually. The main goal is to reduce illness and the number of patients, in line with the concept of ‘aging well.’
The wellness centre is divided into different zones, for instance, the training building where health check-ups, water therapy, and necessary courses such as ‘bed-ridden patient care’ are offered. There is a park where the elderly can have a walk and relax and a cafeteria that offers food that is nutritious for the target group. The concept is insightful and ambitious, having the goal of being able to rejuvenate and extend the lifespan of 60,000 people per year. The Senior Wellness Centre is set to open for service shortly and will help build a healthy aged society for the upcoming future.
CMU Hariphunchai Medical Centre, situated in Sri Buaban, Mueang, Lamphun, is being built in order to increase the access to medical care by eliminating the need to travel to the big cities for treatment, as well as to reduce the uneven distribution of doctors. It also serves as a learning opportunity for the CMU Faculty of Medicine’s medical professionals, wherein medical students are able to study local diseases, which will lead to the development of a more diverse body of knowledge that will serve the local needs of the people in the future.
Currently under construction, the Hariphunchai Medical Centre is built on a 4.8-acre piece of land. It is comprised of four four-storey buildings and has a capacity of over 200 hospital beds. It will serve as the centre for specialised treatments, providing care for patients from 17 northern provinces, the Greater Mekong Subregion and other countries, thus also helping to boost local tourism. The construction budget is 300 million baht.
Both healthcare centres are established on the basis of citizen-based quality healthcare that meets societal needs. This is one part of CMU’s goal of becoming a ‘leading university that is committed to social responsibility and sustainable development’, as is stated in the university’s vision.