About Burma Children Medical Fund
The Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) was established in 2006 to treat to the growing number of patients coming to Mae Tao Clinic with complex medical conditions. The Mae Tao Clinic was established in Mae Sot, Thailand to meet the needs of Burmese people traveling across the border to escape conflict in Burma and seek medical treatment. Today, the Mae Tao Clinic continues to serve a population of approximately 150,000 people who cross the Thai-Burma border seeking medical care that is unavailable or unaffordable in Burma. While the Mae Tao Clinic offers a wide range of basic health care services, options are limited for patients requiring surgery or more complex medical procedures.
The Burma Children Medical Fund funds medical treatment for those patients with complex medical conditions that cannot be treated at Mae Tao Clinic and provides a range of support services before, during, and after treatment. However, because facilities, equipment, and expertise at local clinics and hospitals are limited, the majority of our patients must be transferred to a major hospital in Chiang Mai for treatment.
While 70% of our patients are children, we serve people of all ages that have a good prognosis with surgery or advanced medical treatment.
The Burma Children Medical Fund Patient House
In addition to funding patients’ medical treatment and providing support services, BCMF also provides patients with food and accommodation for as long as they are undergoing treatment. BCMF currently pays per patient for accommodation and food provided by a partner organization in Chiang Mai. However, given the significant and continuous increase in our patient caseload in recent years, our needs have expanded beyond what our partner organization is able to provide. BCMF has now reached a point where it is essential to establish a house exclusively for our patients, allowing us to better serve our patients’ needs and stabilize our costs.
The patient house will be a key aspect of the services we provide to our patients. It is essential that patients and their caregivers have a safe place to stay in Chiang Mai and a social support system while undergoing treatment. Patients undergoing long-term treatment or scheduled for multiple follow-up appointments may need to stay in Chiang Mai for weeks or even months at a time.
Two experienced staff members will live onsite at the house to provide ongoing support to patients. Patients will have constant access to these staff for immediate needs and in case of any medical emergencies. In addition, these staff members help to manage patients’ surgical schedules, ensure patients get to their follow-up appointments, monitor patients’ treatment plans, provide translation services at the hospital, and also provide a range of logistical, emotional, and social support.
For patients and caregivers staying at the house, we will also offer a range of activities including health education, language classes, arts and crafts, and a community garden.
The current campaign will help to raise $5,000 in funds in support of a portion of our start-up costs. Funds raised will be used to help renovate the current site we have selected for the new patient house including building additional bathroom facilities, a kitchen and dining room, and a sidewalk around the property that will allow all parts of the house to be wheelchair accessible. Funds will also be used in support of some of the initial furnishings and household items we will need to get the house up and running.