Bangkok’s official delegation led by Mr. Somchai Jungmeechoke, Director-General of Medical Service Department of BMA, had a study visit on Elderly Care at Seoul and Busan, Republic of Korea. On this opportunity, the city representatives from Seoul Metropolitan Government and Busan Metropolitan City together with administrators and staff from geriatric hospitals and senior welfare centers also warmly welcomed.
During this visit, the delegation in which consisting of the officials from BMA’s concerned agents; Medical Service Department, Health Department, Social Development and International Affairs Office, had the progressive opportunities to exchange knowledge and experiences on operation and management of hospitals and welfare centers for senior citizens. This visit benefits the comprehensive operations of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on management quality enhancement for the elderly people in the future. It is obvious that both Seoul and Busan have Asia’s leading remarkable practices on elderly care. Nowadays, Republic of Korea is changing into “Aged Society” and Korean government does not hesitate to formulate the policies concerning the elderly healthcare in order to support the increasing number of senior people in the society and to support good living quality for the elderly through allocating the welfares that help the elderly people who are impoverished to reach the healthcare services and help reduce the social disparity.
Sharing knowledge and practices at this visit is beneficial for Bangkok delegation for know-how fulfillment. Since Republic of Korea is considered as one of the outstanding prototypes on elderly healthcare that accords with the administrative policies of Governor of Bangkok (in aspect of 4th policy: “Care” – to support quality of people environment and ecological system) which is to promote good care taking and good living quality for the elderly. This visit is also to share the valued experiences and best practices of the two cities in aspect of elderly healthcare in order to be able to program and revise the operation services for elderly people to be effective and successful.
By the way, the Republic of Korea accomplished in establishing the hospitals for the geriatrics by collaboration of private and public sectors to construct the medical centers for comprehensive elderly healthcare. This includes the referral centers that support referring the patients to the destination hospitals in time. Senior Welfare Centers are also established in the community together with providing the well-trained volunteers to help take good care of the patients. Moreover, the Republic of Korea initiated the social security system adapted to the elderly people with low income by funding personal deposit of 20% and adding by government of 80%. That operation effectively elevates the quality of life for the elderly people to have the medical services widely.