The Myanmar Times
Thursday, 23 October 2014
The Myanmar Times
The Myanmar Times

Thukha to open Pyay branch

A patient receives treatment at the Thukha Clinic in Yangon’s North Dagon township on March 21. (Kaung Htet / The Myanmar Times / May 16, 2011)A patient receives treatment at the Thukha Clinic in Yangon’s North Dagon township on March 21. (Kaung Htet / The Myanmar Times / May 16, 2011)

A prominent Yangon clinic that provides free healthcare treatment to the needy plans to open a branch in Bago Region’s Pyay township later this month.

Daw Myint Myint Khin Pe, treasurer of the Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS), which manages the Thukha Clinic in Yangon, told The Myanmar Times the branch would be run by the Pyay-based humanitarian group Moe Metta with guidance from the head clinic in Yangon.

“Up until recently we hadn’t considered opening any branches because it is quite a difficult task,” she said. “But when we worked with volunteers in Pyay to dig wells during last year’s hot season … [Moe Metta] said they wanted to open a clinic in Pyay and it would have the same aim as our Thukha clinic – to help patients regardless of their class, religion or education background – so we decided to help them.”

“All people should be concerned … for those who are too poor to pay for medical treatment. But it does no good just complaining – we need to willingly take action and set a good example,” said Daw Myint Myint Khin Pe, who is also known as Shwe Zee Kwet.

Moe Metta secretary U Nyi Nyi Aung said the Yangon clinic had gained widespread support from the public and was a positive example of what humanitarian work could achieve. He said his organisation was determined to ensure the new Thukha Clinic set a similar example.

“People in Pyay appreciate how Thukha Clinic [in Yangon] has supported poor people and want a similar clinic in Pyay … the new clinic will benefit all the people here,” he said.

The clinic will operate from the compound of Shwe Byai Nar monastery.

“We hope to open the clinic by the end of May or the first week of June. We have furniture already but we are now organising volunteer doctors and nurses. The opening will also depend on [getting permission from] the authorities and completing renovation work at the clinic.

“We have a positive relationship with the local authorities because of our other charity works, like distributing water and donating blood, so we expect to be allowed to open the clinic soon.”

The idea to establish a branch in Pyay came about after the two organisations cooperated on a well-digging project in 2010, he said.

“During last year’s hot season, we donated water with tanks and buckets and FFSS members helped us when they visited the town. They wanted to dig tube wells in the dry zone and we agreed to contribute our labour.”

Daw Myint Myint Khin Pe said the society had funded the digging of 42 tube wells and planned to dig more in Bago and Magwe region townships such as Pyay, Natmauk, Chauk and Yenangyaung.

Each tube well costs about K3 million but this can rise to K4 million depending on the condition of the ground and some other factors.

“The FFSS and Thukha Clinic just want to assist the people and we are willing to do whatever we can to help in the spirit of charity,” she said.

Thukha Clinic is named after the founder of the FFSS, late writer and director U Thukha, and operates out of the society’s compound in Yangon’s North Dagon township.

The clinic, which opened in March 2006, provides free medical treatment to about 500 patients a day, with a staff consisting of 50 specialists who volunteer their time to help the needy.

It is supplied with ultrasound equipment, ECG machines, oxygen tanks, wheelchairs and offers X-ray services.