On 12 July 2019, the Vice President of Mae Fah Laung University, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nantana Gajaseni and the Dean of the School of Medicine, Lt. Gen Emeritus Prof. Nopadol Wora-Urai, MD. attended the inaugural ceremony of the South and Southeast Asia Medical Education and Service Alliance (SSAMESA) at the Chenggong Campus of Kunming Medical University.
The Alliance, initiated by Kunming Medical University and Shanghai Jiaotong University, is a non-government and non-profit international medical institutions consortium joined by 39 medical institutions from 12 countries in the South and Southeast Asia.
It was established to promote exchange and cooperation between medical institutions in China and South and Southeast Asian countries in the fields of medical education, scientific research, medical training and healthcare services. The Alliance also aims to promote the improvement of regional higher medical education and medical and health services, and make positive contributions to the development of global medical and health care.
Furthermore, in a panel of the first president’s forum, the Dean of the School of Medicine, Lt. Gen Emeritus Prof. Nopadol Wora-Urai, MD. delivered keynote speeches on “the opportunities and challenges higher medical education is facing.” The School of Medicine at Mae Fah Luang University was established in 2012 to help solve the shortage of medical doctors, especially in the rural areas of Thailand. The first batch of 32 medical students, who enrolled in 2013, have just graduated in April this year.
In Thailand, retaining most of medical graduates in the community or in the rural areas early in their professional lives, has been very difficult and a challenge. To solve this problem, a medical curriculum has been developed with an emphasis on community, family and occupational medicine from the very first year. Throughout the six-year medical programme, students will get experience, have positive attitudes towards the medical profession, dedicate themselves to promoting health and are prepared to support and contribute to the community.
In addition, from this year, the South and Southeast Asia Medical Education and Service Alliance will hold a conference and council every two years to promote dialogue and exchanges on hot topics in higher medical education and health services in the region.
On the whole, participation in and being a member of the South and Southeast Asia Medical Education and Service Alliance shows MFU’s efforts to constructively engage in regional cooperation in order to promote medical education, and facilitate the development of healthcare services in the region.