Smart NCD Clinic at Ban Ta Khun Hospital in Surat Thani Receives Strong Support from Diabetes Association of Thailand and Ministry of Public Health
Surat Thani, Thailand, 30 October, 2023 - Diabetes is one of the largest global health problems. The International Diabetes Federation has estimated that one in 10 people – or 537 million people worldwide – are living with diabetes as of 2021, with this figure expected to reach 783 million in 20451. Over three in four adults with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries. Diabetes was responsible for 6.06 million deaths in 2021 and has caused US $966 billion in health expenditure worldwide. In 2017, it was reported that there were more than 4.4 million people in Thailand living with diabetes2, with 300,000 new cases of diabetes diagnosed each year3.
In 2019, Roche Diabetes Care (Roche) initiated a pilot with Ban Ta Khun Hospital, a community hospital that provides secondary care services in Surat Thani, to expand access to diabetes care through integrated Personalised Diabetes Management (iPDM). A structured and value-based therapy approach, iPDM is enabled by combining devices and digital solutions designed to overcome therapeutic inertia and improve therapy outcomes in diabetes. It integrates digital tools and brings together physicians and patients for collaborative, therapeutic decision-taking.
The pilot was deemed a success and in 2020, Ban Ta Khun Hospital launched the Smart NCD Clinic with the support of Roche. The clinic uses a protocol that combines education, blood glucose monitoring, and the use of digital tools to drive consistent and sustained behavioural change in people with diabetes (PwDs).
In 2021, the programme expanded to five more community hospitals within Surat Thani Province, including Ban Na San Hospital, Ban Na Derm Hospital, Kanchanadit Hospital, Chai Buri Hospital, and Koh Phangan Hospital, to increase accessibility to services. Currently, additional development is underway at more than 12 hospitals to serve the entire Surat Thani province.
Results from the hospitals that implement the protocol:
- Over 3,170 individuals have received services at the Smart NCD Clinic.
- More than 1,450 individuals have successfully reduced their medication intake, and over 370 were able to discontinue it.
- Collectively, patients have lost over 16,500 kilograms.
- Medication cost savings exceeding 799,000 Thai Baht.
These achievements do not account for the improved quality of life and reduced medication consumption among the affected individuals.
Dr. Jirachart Ruangwatcharin, Head of Provincial Public Health Office, stated, "Patients with chronic illnesses, who represent the highest proportion of all patients, are expected to increase significantly in the coming decades. Establishing a healthcare system to address chronic illnesses and meet the needs of this group is the real challenge of our time. It is our commitment and an important goal for all public health personnel in Surat Thani province."
Associate Professor Dr. Petch Rawdaree, Secretary-General of the Diabetes Association of Thailand and the President of the Non-Communicable Disease Network Association, emphasised that “In addition to our academic support for chronic illnesses to healthcare professionals and the general public nationwide, both associations are committed to actively seeking partnerships across all sectors to join forces in tackling chronic illnesses. We believe that the only way to address this issue is through collaboration”.
"The key to effectively managing diabetes or hypertension towards sustainable stability is not just medication, but the skills to listen and understand the individual patient's unique challenges. It also requires the ability to provide encouragement and knowledge to guide behavioural changes, all while adhering to the belief that every human has the potential to learn and nobody wants to be on medication for life. These skills are now referred to as 'soft skills' or 'human skills,' which are the strengths of family medicine physicians," said Dr. Supattra Srivanichakorn, President of the General Practitioners and Family Physicians Association of Thailand.
Mihai Irimescu, Cluster Head of Asia Emerging Markets, Roche Diabetes Care, said, “The partnership between healthcare professionals, people with diabetes, caregivers, and healthcare providers is crucial for joint therapeutic decision-making. Together, we are enabling a holistic, patient-centric approach through integrated Personalised Diabetes Management (iPDM) to create sustainable healthcare structures so that people living with diabetes in Thailand can experience true relief.”
Effective self-monitoring of blood glucose reduces the risk of diabetes-related eye, kidney, and nerve diseases by 40%4. As self-monitoring of blood glucose is an accessible and affordable diabetes care solution5, it can relieve some of the burden of diabetes management for both individuals and healthcare systems.
Following the success of the six hospitals, the remission service protocol has received strong support from the Diabetes Association of Thailand and the Ministry of Public Health, with plans to certify and scale up this approach nationwide.
In addition, Thailand has been selected to host the IDF World Diabetes Congress 2025 for the first time in Southeast Asia. The congress, which is expected to attract 10,000 participants, aims to foster collaboration and political actions required to place diabetes at the top of the global health agenda and improve the lives of people living with diabetes and those at risk.
About Ban Ta Khun Hospital
Ban Ta Khun Hospital was originally a branch of Phanom Hospital, providing medical services without admitting patients for treatment to the hospital in 1988. Since then, it has been expanded and become a 10-bed hospital, constructed at a new location approximately 2 kilometers away from the original hospital, using the budget of 1992. The hospital covers an area of approximately 30 rai (4,8 ha) and officially opened on December 12, 1996. In 2001, a multi-purpose pavilion was constructed to organise activities and meetings. In 2002, 2 special rooms were additionally built thanks to donated funds.
For more information, please visit http://www.btkhos.com
About Roche Diabetes Care
Roche Diabetes Care has been pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services for more than 40 years. More than 4,500 employees in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target ranges and experience true relief from the daily therapy routines.
Being a global leader in integrated Personalised Diabetes Management (iPDM), Roche Diabetes Care collaborates with thought leaders around the globe, including people with diabetes, caregivers, healthcare providers and payers. Roche Diabetes Care aims to transform and advance care provision and foster sustainable care structures. Under the brands RocheDiabetes, Accu-Chek and mySugr, comprising glucose monitoring, insulin delivery systems and digital solutions, Roche Diabetes Care unites with its partners to create patient-centred value. By building and collaborating in an open ecosystem, connecting devices and digital solutions as well as contextualising relevant data points, Roche Diabetes Care enables deeper insights and a better understanding of the disease, leading to personalised and effective therapy adjustments. For better outcomes and true relief.
Since 2017, mySugr, one of the most popular diabetes management apps, is part of Roche Diabetes Care.
1 International Diabetes Federation. 2021. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 10th ed. Available at: https://diabetesatlas.org/idfawp/resource-files/2021/07/IDF_Atlas_10th_E...
2 IDF Diabetes Atlas. 2017. Available at: https://www.dmthai.org/new/index.php/sara-khwam-ru/the-chart/the-chart-1...
3 Bangkok Post 2023. Diabetes cases up 10% in one year. Available at: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2541094
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2022. Health and Economic Benefits of Diabetes Interventions. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/programs-impact/pop/diabetes.htm
5 Weinstock RS, Aleppo G, Bailey TS, et al. 2020. The Role of Blood Glucose Monitoring in Diabetes Management. Arlington (VA): American Diabetes Association. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK566165