Believe it or not, Thailand is facing a severe shortage of medical professionals, particularly professional nurses, despite the government’s efforts to position Thailand as an international Medical Hub competing with other nations. This is achieved by leveraging the country’s robust healthcare service system to attract medical tourists, generate revenue, and contribute to the nation’s sustainable development.
However, professional nurse is the one of the professions facing a shortage within the healthcare industry. Based on the recent report regarding the workload and efficiency of the nursing profession under the situation of the COVID 19 outbreak, reported by the Senate Public Health Committee, 2022; it was found that there were approximately 165,000 nurses nationwide in 2018. However, only 118,560 nurses have been still active in the system and the shortage continues to increase. While Thai Mistry of Public Health gives information about resources concerning the public health in the year 2022 that the population to professional nurse ratio by Health Network Service is only 1 : 343
This deficit continues to rise, contrary to the national healthcare service strategy, due to the increasing demands of an aging society in need of specialized nursing care. Several factors contribute to this critical shortage, including organizational human resource management, competitive compensation, benefits packages, structural system and internal work processes. These issues require ongoing management by both the government and organizations. Another contributing factor is the lack of funding for many aspiring students interested in pursuing a nursing education.
As an educational institution, Mahidol University plays a crucial role in producing professional nurses for Thailand’s healthcare network. It houses the Faculty of Nursing and Ramathibodi School of Nursing under the Faculty of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital. Additionally, six affiliated hospitals support nursing graduates, including Siriraj Hospital, Ramathibodi Hospital, Tropical Medicine Hospital, Golden Jubilee Medical Center, Chakri Naruebodindra Medical Center, and Mahidol Bamrungrak Medical Center in Nakhon Sawan Province. Recognizing the importance of addressing the shortage of professional nurses, we are committed to finding solutions.
Professional nurses are not just healthcare providers assisting physicians; they are also the front line for assessing health conditions, implementing medical treatment plans, preventing complications, and offering rehabilitation and health improvement programs tailored to each patient. Thus, professional nurses are essential to Thailand’s public health system, especially as the country faces the challenges of an aging society.