OMF missionary surgeon Scott Murray is stationed at Kwai River Christian hospital, founded in1960 and operated by the Church of Christ in Thailand. It is a busy mission hospital in the Thai-Burma border jungle, not far from the Three Pagodas Pass. The hospital is in a resource-poor setting, surviving on donated –often outdated– equipment with only 2 doctors serving a multi-cultural population which includes: Thai (20%), Burmese (30%), Mon (20%), Karen (20%) and a few other smaller minorities (Lao, Chinese, Malay). Half of the patients cannot afford their medical fees resulting in the hospital bearing these costs. The hospital has 40 beds with room for another 20-30 patients on the floor. There is also a large tuberculosis treatment program as well as AIDS work. Malaria and other infectious diseases are common, as are landmines, gunshots from the rebel armies fighting in Burma for recognition, and malnutrition.
Currently there are just 2 full-time doctors. Dr. Sha, a Burmese doctor (GP), and Dr. Scott Murray (OMF missionary – surgeon and hospital director), although volunteers do come and help from time to time. The hospital emphasises high quality medical and surgical care and offers a fairly comprehensive service to patients as for many there is no other hospital that they can travel to for treatment. Half of the patients travel over 100 km to come to the hospital, while 30% travel over 200 Km to seek help. For many this can mean a 3-4 day journey. Dr. Murray is the only surgeon in a 250 kilometer radius on both sides of the border and has to treat every type of surgical patient.
Evangelism is carried out actively with all patients and their families. Every day the Gospel is preached in the various languages to the patients as they wait in the outpatient department to be examined. The Gospel is preached in simple form rotating through the various languages spoken in the area so that everyone has a chance to hear the Gospel in their own language. This means having local church members of the different languages to help on different days of the week.
Plans are afoot to build a brand new hospital in the township of Sangkhlaburi with 60 beds, so as to offer a better and even more comprehensive service to the migrants in the area and hopefully reach more people with the Gospel through this expansion.
The hospital is looking for more specialist doctors and nurses to come and help. Contact Dr. Scott Murray for more information.
Workers: Scott & Nok Murray