Bangkok Adventist Hospital, widely known among the Thai people as Mission Hospital, is a general hospital with registered capacity of 200 beds and 24 bassinets, situated at 430 Pitsanuloke Road, Bangkok, and owned and operated by the Christian Medical Foundation of Seventh-Day Adventists. The hospital is part of worldwide Adventist healthcare network.
Bangkok Mission Clinic
The present institution is an outgrowth of the Bangkok Mission Clinic, opened in rented shophouse at 56 Maitrichitr Road near Plabplachai intersection, on May 10, 1937 with funds contributed by a philanthropist sea captain, Thomas Hall, of Mexico. Dr. Ralph Waddell and his wife Ellen, Nai Pleng Vitiamyalaksna, and Pastor Kon Vui-leong directed the development of the original 12-bed hospital with an outpatient department into a 50-bed clinic.
As the medical work in Bangkok grew, expanded facilities were needed. In the late 1940’s, after the war, a large house, about a mile from the original clinic was leased and remodeled to provide additional 30 beds and became known as the Annex. This increased the hospital’s capacity to 80 beds and made possible the opening of a school of nursing in May 1941 under the direction of Miss Ruth Munroe.
World War II and After
When World War II spread to Southeast Asia, the Annex was closed and the missionaries left the country, but the clinic continued to operate under the direction of Nai Pleng, a medical assistant, and a Romanian physician Dr. S. Bene. With the cessation of hostilities, the overseas staff returned to Thailand. On December 25, 1946, the former Annex and surrounding buildings, occupying a six-acre tract of land at the corner of Pitsanuloke and Lan Luang Roads, was purchased for the development of the Bangkok Sanitarium & Hospital. The former Annex, remodeled again, became the initial building of the Bangkok Sanitarium & Hospital. Another building was converted into quarters for the school of nursing which was reopened on July 1, 1946. Thirty-three students of the first post-war class were capped on October 30, 1947. Some of these have been the pillars of the medical work in Thailand.
Expansion of Mission Hospital
Medical activities of the Bangkok Sanitarium & Hospital were extended into the provinces of Thailand in 1949, when the institution sponsored the opening of mission clinics in Ubol, Phuket and Haad Yai, under Drs. J. E. Sandness, F. N. Crider, and R. C. Gregory, respectively. The hospitals in both Haad Yai and Ubol have since been closed.
Bangkok Sanitarium & Hospital
On August 3, 1949, the corner stone of the new Bangkok Sanitarium & Hospital building was laid. A joint church-community financial campaign provided funds for a modern four-storey hospital building which was officially opened by L. Pibulsonggram, Thailand’s premier, on March 19, 1951. During the ensuing years the clinic was departmentalized and the number of staff members increased accordingly.
Midwifery and School of Nursing
On July 4, 1955, the wife of the premier officially opened the new building for the school of midwifery. Miss Gertrude Green, an American midwife, directed the development of the obstetrical clinic, which served the poor and also provided clinical experience for midwifery students. Miss Green retired in 1980 and finally returned to USA in 1992 after a total of 51 years of service, 43 of them at Bangkok Adventist Hospital.
In mid 1958 a much needed addition to the Sanitarium building increased the total bed capacity to 180. And that same year, H. H. Queen Sirikit of Thailand opened a modern three-storey concrete building for the school of nursing in which there was dormitory space for 120 student nurses, administrative offices, library and classrooms. This program has subsequently been developed into a degree program offering a BS in Nursing over a period of four years training. A new administrative building for the nursing training program was opened in 1989 and the administrative section of the original building along with the library and classrooms were transferred to this new building. Training schools for medical and x-ray technology, anesthesia, and midwifery were conducted at that time but are currently defunct. Midwifery has been absorbed by the College program and training in x-ray and laboratory are currently run by government and some other private universities.
Mission Hospital Name
The name Bangkok Adventist Hospital was officially adopted in 1973. In 1983 a new wing was opened, built into the original hospital building not to increase beds but to expand much needed outpatient, operating room and patient room facilities. This wing was called the Ralph Waddell Wing. In 1987, marking the 50th anniversary of the hospital, the Pleng Vitiamalaksna building was opened to provide beds for Obstetric and Pediatrics and to house a new Food and Bakery service along with much needed car parking spaces.
Mission Hospital Promotions
In 1990 on land purchased some years before, a Lifestyle Center called Mission Health Promotion Center capable of housing 60 people was opened in the hamlet of Muak Lek in the Province of Saraburi, in an attempt to institute traditional Seventh-Day Adventist Health Care Philosophy and delivery aimed at Preventive Medicine, designed on the “Sanitarium” concept and NEWSTART Principles.
Mission Hospital Clinic
In 2003 Bangkok Adventist Hospital admitted approximately 6000 patients and treated 180,000 outpatients. The hospital currently has 410 employees and about 90 medical staff. Besides admitting and treating patients in the hospital, Bangkok Adventist Hospital also runs a Mobile Clinic which is equipped with x-ray unit. This is also used for charitable medical outreach of the hospital.