Project Description

Avery, G.C. 2016.

Dr. Thep Himathongkam: transforming diabetes treatment in Thailand.
Strategy & Leadership, 44(3), pp.40-46

Abstract
Purpose
This interview discusses a “Blue Ocean” strategy initiative: how to introduce effective change in diabetes care into Thailand given a strong reluctance in patients, and in Thai society, to see that diabetes is not a condition to be treated by doctors alone.

Design/methodology/approach

An interview with Dr Thep Himathongkam, the pioneer of holistic diabetes care in Thailand.

Findings
One strategic management problem he faced was the lack of suitably trained staff. Thailand had no university courses producing the multidisciplinary personnel needed for diabetes treatment such as diabetes educators, dieticians, or foot care specialists. He addressed the multidisciplinary personnel shortage by training the missing specialists, getting universities on board and more recently securing funding from the World Diabetes Foundation.

Practical implications
The result of the diabetic foot-care training for more than 2,500 personnel, mostly from community hospitals, has been markedly successful, with a reduction in annual amputations in Thailand of 80 per cent over five years.

Originality/value
This interview offers a look at the multi-track problem solving required to successfully implement a Blue Ocean strategy.

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