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Activities of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej


As Foreign relations are always conducted on Head-of-State level, His Majesty exercises to the full his prerogative in dispatching and receiving envoys to and from friendly nations. These formal functions are, however, conducted by him with the most personal touch. He anoints each Thai Ambassador in the fare-well audience and gives appropriate words of advice. Foreign envoys accredited to the Thai Court are received in both formal and informal audience, in the latter of which close personal bonds are formed, leading to smoother and more sympathetic co-operation. The personal touch is extended to areas of foreign relations outside the diplomatic circle, for His Majesty also constantly receives in audience various important and interesting foreign figures who pass by our country or have come in to co-operate with the Thai authorities in some way. The list of guests ranges from Foreign Royalty and Dignitaries through representatives of all fields of life.

H.M.K picture Most important and most beneficial of all. Their Majesties have assiduously forged personal links with Heads of States and the peoples of foreign friendly countries by paying and receiving State and Official Visits to and from various countries all around the World. By short trips to one or two countries or an extended tour such as the one to The United States of America and Europe in 1960, Their Majesties have visited over 25 countries in Asia, Australasia, Europe and America and have received visits from a similar number of Heads of States. Study of the details of these exchanges would show foreign relations conducted at their best, for they have been arranged not only to bind the Heads of State in close bonds of personal friendship but to afford opportunities for friendly acquaintances of government officials as well as to create better knowledge and understanding between the two peoples. Naturally, the greatest assets which have made these exchanges of Visits so successful have been the graceful charms and total interests which both Their Majesties have always displayed in all aspects throughout the period of each stay however demanding the programme may be.


H.M.K picture Apart from livelihood, Health is obviously another main concern in the welfare of any people. Health, for that reason, is also another main and close concern of His Majesty, especially as his Royal father, as already mentioned, is regarded as the Father of the modern Thai Medical Profession. His Majesty's activities range far and wide into many spheres and many areas of Health, staring with the physical contribution through attendances at Meetings of medical personnel or on medical matters such as the graduation and other ceremonies of medical students where he always gives appropriate words of advice and raises appropriate problems such as the growing brain drain of medical graduater to foreign countries and the reverse lack of medical personnel in provincial areas. He has personally observed this latter problem during his frequent trips to those areas and especially to the remote and border districts where even rudimentary facilities of health are sometimes lacking. Since a long time, therefore, he has set up his personal medical units always to accompany him on these trips and to stay for quite a while to tend to the maladies of the people some of whom see a doctor or a dentist for the very first time on such an occasion. For those villagers who need surgery or prolonged care His Majesty not only shoulders the cost of such operations or treatment in provincial hospitals or hospitals in the capital city of Bangkok but also pays for all the necessary expenses which might be incurred during the transportaion of patients, hospital fees and miscellaneous fees such as household expenses during the hospitalization of the family's breadwinner. During the extended tours to visit people in rural and remote areas, His Majesty has instructed that clinics be established at the entrances to the grounds of the Royal Residences which are open to all at no cost and are staffed by His Majesty's Personal Physician, doctors and nurses attached to the Royal Medical Division as well as volunteer doctors from the Medical Departments of the various Armed Forces and medical personnel attached to the Ministry of Public Health serving in the region. Experienced surgeons of The Royal College of Surgeons also volunteer their services and perform surgery in the provincial hospitals upon the patients under expenses to the Privy Purse at the barest minimum,

His Majesty's work in the field of health services for the rural populace is well supplemented by the special efforts of his equally dedicated Royal mother who, in spite of her advanced age, still spends half her time each year on trips to remote are as accompanied by a similar sort of personal medical team while other teams under her sponsorship are comprised medical personnel who have access to planes and helicopters for the treatment of urgent cases. His Majesty also very much encourages the work of the mobile medical units formed by the Government and has personally presented a few fully-equipped vehicles for such purpose to the Government, one of these units being in the form of boat so that people who live only by canals and rivers could also be reached.

H.M.K picture As in other fields, His Majesty's main approach has been to seek out the trouble spots try to provide or instigate suitable remedies. This approach could obviously find plenty of results in the medical area. Her Majesty the Queen being also the President of the Thai Red Cross, the two of them could identify the medical needs all the time and in all places, resulting in successive wards and laboratories being built through their in various hospitals both in Bangkok and in outlying areas. In a more extensive manner, Their Majesties have been responsible for establishing all sorts of Funds and Foundations to assist in the specialized treatment and research into the causes of various illnesses especially those of an epidemic or endemic nature in Thailand. Cholera, for example, is being combatted through a Fund set up by His Majesty in 1959 originally for the relief of families stricken in an epidemic of that year and the manufacture of medicine, but now extended to be used for the research and even the supply of research equipment to find the best and most effective way of preventing and eliminating the disease. Poliomyelitis was also epidemic in Thailand in 1953 and His Majesty set up another Fund to form fully-equipped wards for polio victims together with equipment for long-termed rehabilitation of the victims. Tuberculosis also used to be the scourge of the Thai nation, but with another Fund set up by His Majesty to help in producing B.C.G. vaccine, the disease has now been brought under effective control. Perhaps the most typical of all is the now famous Foundation for the relief of leprosy called the 'Rajaprachasamasai' meaning 'Mutual Support between King and people'. Leprosy is, of course, a generally detestable disease and its victims have tended to be shut away out of sight and out of mind of ordinary people. His Majesty, however, has chosen to single out this dreaded disease for his special concern and set an example by personally allocating an amount of money for the building and equipping of a research and relief station in Phrapradaeng District near Bangkok in 1960. With the sum left over from the building, he gave permission for it to be set up as a Fund for the specific purpose of research into the cure of the disease and general care of the victims. The example of His Majesty inspired many people to follow suit and the Fund rapidly grew to a large amount which merited being turned into an effective Foundation. Impressed by the large and instant public support for his original idea, His Majesty thus dubbed the Foundation with the name indicated above. It has now grown to be a model Foundation in its continued support and the effective result turned out from the shrewd use of the money donated.

P.S. Princess Srinagarindra, The Royal mother, passed away on 18th of July 1995.

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