The Thai Elephant Conservation Center's Elephant Hospital, one of Thailand's four regional hospitals, was officially established in 2000. The Hospital offers free treatment for elephants from all over Thailand. Nearly all patients are privately-owned elephants whose owners cannot afford to pay for care. (The TECC's own elephants are so well cared for that they rarely require hospital care.)
The hospital has five veterinarians, a well-stocked pharmacy and modern equipment (though an x-ray machine is badly needed). The vets are supported by a staff of 'mahout-nurses' very well trained in daily treatments such as cleaning wounds, changing dressings, and other routine care.
From 2005 to 2008, the hospital treated 283 elephants, of which 239 recovered; 17 died and several animals are still undergoing treatment. While some cases of infectious diseases are treated, most patients suffer from injuries or conditions related to work. Consequently, the Hospital and the National Elephant Institute have a very active education program to prevent injuries by teaching mahouts and owners better keeping techniques. A key component of our outreach effort is an Elephant Care Manual for mahouts and managers.
The hospital has two partner units essential to its work. First, the Mobile Elephant Clinic, staffed by the Hospital's vets, is continually in the field compiling over 70,000 kilometers a year visiting needy elephants wherever they live and work. About half of the Hospital's patients were admitted through the Mobile Clinic, while the rest were referred by veterinarians from all over Thailand.
Second, the Pang La Sanctuary cares for a few healthy but old, retired elephants but mainly watches over elephants unlikely to ever resume a normal life, whether blind, crippled, ex-drug addicted, very dangerous, etc.
Beyond medical care, the hospital also conducts research, most notably in Reproduction and infectious diseases.