I have never had a hearing check-up before, but now that I know there are alternatives to hospitals for audiology (hearing-related) care, I am more likely to have one. The most prominent, well-established service in Thailand is DEAR Hearing Center, which has been building up its presence for almost 30 years in the capable hands of founders Asst. Prof. Somchai, MD and Dr. Mukda Pattana-Anek, and is now poised for new successes under the helm of their son Khun Phum, its Managing Director. The word “DEAR” in its name stands for “Dedicated, Empowering, Assisting, Reliable”.
Dr. Somchai qualified in Otolaryngology – more commonly known as Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) – from the University of Münster. When he and his wife eventually opened their first hearing centre in Chonburi, in 1993, they had a clear idea about the type of service they would offer. “Thirty years ago, ENT doctors outside Bangkok had to send their audiology patients to the capital city for treatment. We wanted to provide a one-stop, high-quality service that was convenient for customers, and we also offered a personal touch. So we built our hearing centre with a laboratory for diagnosis, a store selling hearing devices and a repair centre. I brought sophisticated lab equipment and hearing devices in from Denmark..”