Dr. Thant Zim offers top-class service in Wakefield
Although many rural residents often have to travel long distances from their communities to get major medical treatment, Burmese-born doctor, Thant Zim has made it his mission to provide the people of Wakefield, Trelawny with top-class service right at their doorsteps.
"Since I have been here, I have seen a lot of new patients on a daily basis, and the number of patients has increased, and the number of house visits as well. I have a lot of patients in the community that I do house visits with regularly, every month," said Dr. Zim, who operates out of the Wakefield Medical Centre in the community square.
Thirty-year-old Zim, who comes from a family of doctors, completed a one-year internship in his native Burma in 2008 before moving to Jamaica in March 2009, where he passed the local medical school examinations a year later and was assigned as a medical officer at the Mandeville Regional Hospital.
"I worked in the Mandeville Regional Hospital for over five years, as a resident in the male medical ward, and then I moved to the Manchester Health Department where I worked as a medical officer in the primary health care clinic," Zim explained. "While there, I realised I was more interested in becoming a primary health care physician, and that is why I am here today."
In February 2016, Zim relocated to Wakefield, where he currently has a practice that offers a wide range of services for residents, from Monday to Saturday each week.
"We do the lab services, including blood tests, plus we do the Pap smear for women and the prostate check for men. We also do suturing if somebody has a cut, and nebulisations if someone is wheezing from asthma or has a cough or cold problem," Zim outlined.
"I also do immunisation for the babies, and I do some of the rapid tests like HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea and Chlamydia as well. I do STD screenings as well, and I accept all the major health cards, and debit and credit cards as well," he added.
What helps Zim to stand out is his willingness to serve patients after normal closing hours.
"I work very long hours every day, and I close by 8:00 in the night... So patients coming back from Montego Bay, like at 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m., they can still come and see me," said Zim.
Zim is currently making plans to expand the number of services his office provides for patients, and he wants to prioritise health education for residents.
"I want to have a gynaecologist's office, and to do ultrasound, so when the patients come here, they do not need to go anywhere else again, they just do one stop," said Zim. "Also, most people do not know that they need to see the doctor if something is happening; they come to the doctor only at the very late stage. That is why I choose to be in the community, because the people still need a lot of health education and health talks."