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Treasury, hospital plan first seniors' complex

The Treasury Department has joined Mahidol University and its Ramathibodi Hospital in building a residential project for senior citizens in Bang Phli in Samut Prakan province.

Director-general Jakkrit Parapunthakul said on Friday his department would seek cabinet approval for the project in February so construction bids could begin soon.

He expects Thailand's first state-owned "senior complex" to be completed in two years after construction begins.

The complex, to be located on a state-owned 72-rai plot, will have three zones. The first comprises 1,000 apartments of 30-55 square metres each. Their prices would hinge on the designs to be submitted by winning contractors.

People aged 55 years or more can live there for 30 years. If they die before the contracts end, the apartments would be sold back at a pro-rated discount to the hospital, which will then renovate and sell them to other people.

Residents will have to pay a lump-sum fee of 1 million baht for the 30-year stay and a monthly rent of not less than 10,000 baht a month for services. However, these figures are not final as they will depend on the designs submitted by winning contractors. 

The second and third zones to be developed later are for the elderly who need assistance. They also comprise a Ramathibodi Hospital medical unit with equipment to take care of the elderly, to be financed from the hospital's budget. Construction should be completed in 3-4 years, Mr Jakkrit said.

Apart from the Bang Phli project, the department is planning similar projects in four provinces – Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Nayok and Chon Buri -- totalling 400,000 units.

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