Exclusive interview with Dr. Seeharach Lohachitranont
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group 4 and Hospital Director of Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai


Dimension of Change


We have a meeting scheduled with Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai's newly appointed Hospital Director. On a pleasant morning in early December, to see the art event of the year, Chiangmai Design Week 2022, where the doctor chose to explore Lanna culture, especially from the perspective of the new generation in order to learn as much as possible about 'Chiang Mai' through storytelling and other social aspects.


For good fortune, we start pinning the journey at the City Pillar.


Dr. Seeharach Lohachitranont, or 'Doctor Beer,' was already waiting and ready to worship the Inthakin Pillar, a national achievement of the people of Chiang Mai erected to enhance land fertility.



Originally in the Central Part, Educated in the Northeast,
Worked in the East, Now Residing in the North


According to Dr. Beer, he has grown up in the marine atmosphere of Samut Songkhram in a family business, prior to completing medical studies at Khon Kaen University. After graduating, he served in the Ministry of Public Health and began working to administer 3 hospitals under the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health. Before relocating to Chiang Mai, he was the director of Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, 12 years in total under the roof of Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS).


"I enjoy traveling, and sometimes came to Chiang Mai as a tourist to go kayaking or rafting, mainly in Mae Taeng. Lately, I have gone south to surf.” He started.


“Recently, I've got the chance to speak with locals while I wander the city. They are open to communication. Even international residents that reside here have such appearance. This type of warm personality, in my opinion, will do a great deal to promote tourism as a travel destination. When we talked, I found that the majority of Chiang Mai residents don't complain much about the local hospitals or healthcare system, conversely, they can wait for the services without any problem. Everyone says "it's okay," which makes me surprise (smiles). Actually, the hospital's healthcare services usually bear higher expectations than other businesses. With the limitations of the primary care system and medical personnel, dissatisfaction on a system with such scarce resources is the norm for people in our country."


Flexibility and all-area adaptation stem from life experiences obtained from living in various locations and in multiple cultures, from the homeland in the country’s center, through the life of being an extern and an intern in the Northeast, the years spent accumulating extensive work experience in the East up until the day when the wind of life blew north.



“As a new member, I find it intriguing to live in a diversified population city as Chiang Mai. The important thing is that there are 'stories' from people who are profound about their reasons for selecting the city as a place to live, not only an after-retirement destination. It was a terrific chance for me, as a growing up of other locality, to learn more about how we can live harmoniously with this variety.”



With expertise operating a large hospital in a world-famous tourist destination like Pattaya, Dr. Beer had the opportunities to go on road shows in many countries, bringing money into the locality from several ‘medical tourism’ initiatives. That gave him confidence that he could head Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai in the future to assist the Provincial Strategy and Mission of Chiang Mai Medical and Health Hub.


"Thailand, in fact, is an excellent position in terms of becoming a tourist destination, with an advantage over other nations, either a short trip or a long stay. The function of medical tourism that our hospital promotes is to attract international visitors with healthcare demands. When we attended an oversea roadshow, we introduced ourselves that we are from Pattaya, followed by our medical services we provide to help them visit Pattaya safely or even our ability to send a plane to pick them up from their country. Likewise, Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai provides healthcare services for senior travelers who require dialysis. They will be able to make an advance reserve for a dialysis private room to ensure a safe and pleasant journey to Chiang Mai.



Conversations flowed smoothly as we walked through the exhibition, only interrupted by asking questions about his interests as he walked through each booth. He made an attempt to comprehend the Lanna people's way of life by pausing to look at the designs on textiles, silverware, and traditional candle holder, as well as by taking part in the distribution of green places in Chiang Mai. We couldn't resist asking him for his people's perspectives from the angles of a ‘doctor’ and a ‘hospital director’.


In retrospect, the doctor reflected on his turning moment, which occurred after serving as an intern at a central hospital in Ubon Ratchathani. From the start, he intended to pursue his studies in a specialization with the goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.


After being able to assist surgeons with routine brain operations from dark to dawn,


"I observed how hard medical professionals had to work, both during operations and on a regular basis which made me realize that it shouldn't be like this. If we pay attention to preventative healthcare by screening those with high blood pressure across the province and treating the condition at its source. Blood vessel fractures are less likely and doctor's workload will be decreased. I, was between 24 and 25 years old at that time, chose to alter my major to hospital management because if we can advocate excellent policies with adequate resources, we can assist more people become sustainably healthy, benefiting both patients and physicians.”


“The dimension of looking at people therefore changes accordingly. As an executive, I am concerned with all aspects of medical therapy since successful treatment outcomes require more than medical treatment, diagnosis, or drug dispensing. This comprises an environment of care, such as the light entering the patient's room being directly tied to the patient's awakening, hospital air systems tailored to delicate patients, materials science and stiffness-friction levels appropriate for senior patients, backup procedures to the water and the electrical system must be performed. These examples all contribute to demonstrating how extremely secure the hospital's patient care system is under all conditions.” He said.



The ‘people dimension’ has been crystallized into ‘looking through the glasses of patients and families in order to comprehend their real ‘lifestyle’. Not only for saving lives, but also for returning to their originals or quality of life, for example, the hospital encourages dietary wellness and workouts to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint in addition to knee surgery to realign the knee joint so that the patient can walk easily following surgery. In order to provide a healthy blood flow to the heart for a patient with ischemic heart disease, cardiac catheterization is only the beginning of our effort. We also need to encourage patients to be able to resume their regular routines with their loved ones. Finally, the hospital director's attitude is to respond to patient needs as much as feasible."


Working with "Director Seeharach"


“I have a very straightforward way of expressing my happiness, dislikes, and anger. I'll let you know if I don't like it. I find repetitious chores to be frustrating, especially when the tasks themselves don't communicate well in advance. The team never hesitates to admit, "I didn't know this, I didn't do that," but I will go on. Better than using flowery language to hide and squander time afterwards. If we make a mistake with Medical Occurrence, I will not be furious but will become enraged if you do not report but later find out. This does not sit well with me! I believe that through working together, we will learn from one another. Finally, this will be implemented into organizational structure going forward.”



Dr. Beer chose the Growth Mindset approach to managing people. This method is sustainable and fosters never-ending learning. The team may continue working whether the leader is there or not. According to him, KPIs are only instruments for measuring the effectiveness of work processes, not the actual performance of individuals.


“The organization is characterized by its leader. The leader must be clear about the goals and beliefs, as well as be able to explain these practices to everyone and propagate them all the way through the frontlines. Let's say we keep talking till we become tired (smiles). Therefore, the team does not need to adjust to me. Because the long-term growth of the company requires that organizational preferences take precedence over personal preferences. The business will be successful if we have a 20% of the high-performance team members ratio.” He mentioned.


“What I'm now trying to figure out is who our team is, where we're heading, what we're doing, and how I can assist? What technologies do they employ? The strategic strategy needs to be precise and go in the direction we genuinely want. It is my responsibility to identify the best resources to help everyone work toward the strategy that will best serve the requirements of the Chiang Mai community within the framework and context of Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai.”


Whether it was before the Covid 19 pandemic or after, people nowadays are more concerned with their health than ever before. Dr Beer verified that the hospital's function had not altered. It must be as full as feasible in terms of the Along Care Cycle.


“Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai strives to be centers of excellence. We currently have six centers of excellence: heart, oncology, neuroscience, orthopedics, trauma, and pediatrics. As a result, we prioritize offering ongoing care throughout the cycle. With the large population of healthy individuals, we consequently begin our work of screening, assessment and prevention of all diseases. Our new business will be located here. Instead of physicians and nurses having to care for Alzheimer's patients in their advanced years, let's start talking about it when they are 45 to discover a better approach to avoid Alzheimer's. If we work hard to prevent sickness, individuals will get sick slowly or not at all. Lastly, it assesses general longevity.”


Green Hospital Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai


His responsibilities as director of Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai are supplemented by his role as Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Group 4, which supervises Bangkok Hospital's northern and northeastern provinces. It is in charge of driving and delivering BDMS Values that are appropriate for each locality.


"To me, when treating patients, regardless of location, we expect the best results. Patients and families are the same. BDMS Values are consequently at the center of patient care since each B, D, M, S highlights our important role. Each value must be converted such that it may be touched by the patient. It is something that everyone in team has to help design.


Beyond Excellence - This is absolutely necessary. For example, if a pediatric asthma patient with RSV is with another hospital, the kid must remain in bed for seven days. We expect to have the patient recover from the sickness in less time so that the patient may heal faster, lose less time, and spend less money.

Deep Empathy- Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai strives towards Compassionate Empathy. To be able to care for patients in all situations, we must comprehend what will happen to them and plan ahead of time.

Moral Commitments - we will assess whether the work process complies with the good corporate governance policies, for instance, the Fraud Prevention and Anti-Corruption Policy, the Code of Ethics for Doctors and Nurses or BDMS Green Hospitals. These factors will propel us toward being a sustainable organization.

Service with Thai Hospitality- Located in tourist locations like Pattaya and Chiang Mai, the hospital will represent Thai Hospitality services to fit their locales. It's quite interesting for Chiang Mai, which has a lot of soft power, in my opinion. Like Thai food, we won't have to do anything more to capture customer hearts. In terms of service, Thai people, in every region, have Thai hospitality in our DNA. When compared to other countries' services, even when every statement concludes with "Sir", the eyes might not fully communicate the intention accordingly. Despite the fact that Thai’s people’s language is not very excellent, when it comes to duty, it is nearly a martyr.



Dimensions of Identity


As Chiang Mai is well-known as a coffee city, we decide to complete our adventure today at a little coffee shop in a corner of the exhibition building. Surrounded by the rich aroma of coffee, a barista offers meticulous guidance on coffee selection, including Chiang Mai originals Pang Khon and Thep Sadet as well as a variety of well selected imported coffees. Dr. Beer paused for a bit, picked out a drip coffee, and then came back to continue a pleasant conversation with us.



"I myself a coffee lover and am hooked to it" (smiles). That example, if it is a business day, I will have a double espresso in the morning to boost my energy, followed by a couple cups later on. But when I'm resting or on vacation, I always favor drip coffee like this as I appreciate being able to sip it while taking in the scenery. Any beans or roast level are welcome, and I am willing to test them all. Recently, I've been experimenting with coffee combined with coconut juice or yuzu, both of which I enjoy."


How do you organize your rest time when you work a lot like this?

I'll concentrate on sleep quantity and quality. I'm the type of person that goes to bed early and sleeps for at least 7 hours. At 9.30 pm, if I'm not busy with work, I'm usually in bed.


Which suggests you're not usually on social media?

Well, I just use it for work (laughs). Specifically, Facebook, because it is popular among my generation. It helps me to catch up with and view the lives of friends who are dispersed around the country. I also have Instagram and Twitter accounts, although I seldom use them.


What makes you happy at work?

My happiness is watching the team develop, advance, succeed, be proud of themselves, and have the right tools. By this, I can easily witness the progress clearly via dialogues. Since failure is a part of the learning process, it is also viewed as a form of success. As an organizational leader, I will develop connections that are solid and consistently make sensible judgments in order to foster trust and pleasant interactions.



Then what is your genuine level of happiness in life?

Excellent question (smiles). In fact, I have also established other 6-7 businesses, some of which have failed, so why I keep doing it? (Smiles). At some point, I eventually discover that the interaction we have with individuals around us is the only thing that truly makes our hearts glow. This includes positive connection patterns at work, at home, and with friends. It's more about having money in the bank or being successful at work. Undoubtedly, success at work is enjoyable, but the goal will soon be reset to zero, and a new one will need to be set. So, my family and the happiness of people around me are the only things I would never let go of.


The conversation ends up by a popular question,

'Mountain' or 'Sea' and why?

I openly enjoy them all. It lacks the same allure. I've already visited the forest and ascended a mountain. As a surfer, I looked for activities close to the water, while I was with the ‘sea’. I can easily live, eat, and participate in the vibrant surf culture. I enjoy being in touch with nature and the powerful Andaman waters. Wait for the waves to ‘get ready’ and develop patience. Such perfect waves for surfing may be determined by the high tide, increasing, fading, and wind. I usually sit and grin while waiting for it, spending time with other surfers. Even though I worked in Pattaya, I frequently flew to Phuket during the monsoon season. Besides, there are several surf spots in Thailand, such as Khao Lak Surf Town, which has a surf community that draws tourists to remain for an extended period of time. I believe it is preferable to play in our nation rather than travel to Australia, Hawaii, or Bali since our Thai food is great and the cost of living is reasonable.


But now that I've moved in with 'The Mountain,' I need to start exploring for new activities(smiles).