The hospital aims to deliver a lifetime of value healthcare for the LGBTQIA+ community.
By Ashima Sethi and Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
Throughout Bumrungrad‘s 40-year history, the network of hospitals and clinics have always demonstrated a respect for individual differences, offering their services to a diverse community of people from different backgrounds, cultures, race, sexuality, and sexual orientation. Above all, Bumrungrad aims to deliver medical services with the highest level of care, ensuring that every patient has equal access to their quality standards.
Over the years, medical professionals and the team at Bumrungrad have noticed a growing demand from all age-groups within the LGBTQIA+ community for medical care that is inclusive and meets a high level of safety. We live in an age where gender fluidity is recognised, and to ensure all people feel confident in seeking the medical care they require, Bumrungrad has launched its brand-new Pride Clinic.
Offering customised, inclusive and quality care for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community, whether Thai or international, professionals at the clinic hope that patients will find a safe space to discover the best versions of themselves. Although it has been a project that has been in process for a while, the unveiling marks the hospital’s celebration of Pride Month, which is an annual month-long global event that honours LGBTQIA+ pioneers and activists who have fought for the rights of the community and to celebrate the culture and history of the community as well.
To usher in the launch, Bumrungrad invited media to attend a virtual press conference via Zoom to commemorate the opening of the Pride Clinic and learn more about its services. The programme was hosted by Khun Mayura “Tuck” Savetsila and representatives included Dr. Sira Korpaisarn, Endocrinologist and Hormone Specialist at Bumrungrad International Hospital, who reiterated that the team “want to be lifetime value doctors” rather than just a one time visit, and that “keeping information confidential is very important.” Dr. Pay from Bumrungrad’s trusted partner, RAKxa Wellness on Bangkrachao, was also in attendance, to explain how therapies provided are to make “Everyone [feel like] a superman, superwoman, [or superperson], I want you to reach your dreams and be happy.”
The Pride Clinic provides holistic, integrated and personalised care that includes consultations, treatments, physical and mental evaluation, physical examinations and health assessments. This allows the team of trained doctors to create individually customised programmes so that patients can achieve their personal goals. Some of the services that the clinic provides include hormone therapy, gender reassignment or gender affirmation surgery, with consultancy throughout every stage encompassing plastic surgery, dermatology, anatomy reconstruction, and physical therapy.
In addition to representatives from the Bumrungrad team, the press conference also invited several guests from the LGBTQIA+ community to give their testimonies. Khun Nawarat “Grace” Techarathanaprasert who is currently a freelancer, most famous from his role on Khao Niao Moo Ping (2006), said “After I came out to the public, I had quite a difficult time. Today is the last day of Pride Month, and I’m happy that there are lots of positive changes that have come out of this year, but we still have many nights and days to go. I’m afraid that after Pride Month, the LGBTQIA+ community will not be as important in the eyes of the media. There’s still a lot that needs to be done in terms of laws and support from others. I want to register for marriage! So, I’d like to ask everyone not to forget us after Pride Month.”
He went on to say, “I’m happy about the opening of the Pride Clinic and that many doctors here are modern in their mindset. Growing up, it was very hard for me to find medical information related to myself, but it’s good that these days we have clinics like this. I had to struggle back then, but I’m glad that we have a lot of interest from the media, and that the younger generation who are going through the same journey as me have access to a clinic like this.”
In a similar vein, Khun Pataradanai “Koen” Setsuwan said that “Everyone thinks about Pride Month as just a celebration and all the parades, but it’s really to emphasise that we have been oppressed for many years, and to commemorate what happened in 1969 at Stonewall. The style of clothes I wear, I see it as a way of honouring my feelings and how I feel each day. I’m very happy about this clinic, especially when they were talking about confidentiality. It’s very important for mental health as well.”
Khun Rusameekae Fagerlund was also invited to give his insight and share his story, “I was bullied since I was young. Even when I lived abroad, I was discriminated against because of racism. My father is black but my mum is of Asian descent. I’m also gay, so I’m associated with many minority groups. With all I’ve gone through, I’ve learned not to live according to other people’s preferences. You have to understand the value within yourself. You have to accept yourself and accept how you want to live.
“I want kids to know that LGBTQIA+ people are normal too, I try to teach my nephews and my nieces this. Till today, I’ve not seen an LGBTQIA+ clinic like this before. Not only Bumrungrad International should share this news, everyone should share it with everyone they know. Come here, learn more about the community, and it’s great to have a place where LBGTQIA+ people feel safe.”
To learn more about the Bumrungrad International and their Pride Clinic, visit www.bumrungrad.com/en