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J Med Assoc Thai. 2012 Jan;95 Suppl 1:S42-50.

Disaster medicine in Thailand: a current update. Are we prepared?

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand.



To investigate the level of major incident/disasters preparedness in Thailand by evaluating to-date data with main focus on past events and their outcomes to alert national medical societies for their roles in upcoming disasters/major incidents.


Besides data from past disasters/major incidents (Jan 2006-Dec 2010), including injury details in each event; all information about current disasters/major incidents preparedness systems, triage and pre-hospital management, standard of personnel, co-ordination and command centers, were reviewed by using data from Bangkok Emergency Medical Service, Narenthorn EMS of Rajavithi Hospital, Emergency Medical Institute of Thailand, Royal Thai Police, Department of Disaster prevention and mitigation (Ministry of Interior).


There was neither a national registry, nor an authentic centralization of the preparedness system. The current organization was found to be functional, but incomplete. The main dispatch center responsible for medical service in Bangkok metropolitan during the present study period was Bangkok EMS ("Erawan center"). In provincial areas, emergency medical services (Ministry of Public Health) in each province act as dispatcher in their corresponding regions in cooperation with the emergency operation divisions in their related area. Several private organizations also volunteered to assist. There was an increase in the number of disasters/major incidents in Thailand between 2006 and 2010; with a total number of 60,999 deaths, 346,763 wounded patients and 73 missing and total costs of 47,453.69 million Baht (1,581.79 million US Dollar).


There is an established and functional disaster management organization in Thailand with some overlapping difficulties and a need for improvement. Understanding the national need for registry, public information, preparedness, cooperation and coordination inside and outside hospitals, will not only save lives, but also would be beneficial for the country in terms of major economical measures.

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