Tagging of healthcare facilities

Quite frequently we base on the research the Wikipedia community did before. They call it Health Promoting Hospital

A cross-check with Google translate also returns Health Promoting Hospital. Removing Tambon then returns Promotion

There seems to be a WHO project with this name:

and they mention a Bangkok charter: https://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/6gchp/bangkok_charter/en/

On the member states Thailand is not listed. So the status is a bit unclear for me.

This document calls them THPH, Tambon Health Promotion Hospital:

This publication and all references call Health Promoting:

So certainly the translation is not uniform. We could settle on one way. As there are usually no English signs around I think other mappers will follow what is the example on existing places or simply use the preset.

Syntax may be a reason to prefer the translated word, as “X Subdistrict Health Promoting Hospital” allows for the natural phrasing of “X Subdistrict” in the name, while “Tambon X” cannot be included in the phrase without either omitting or duplicating the word.

It should be quite easy to identify them based on name alone. Looking at the above-linked Overpass query, most of the currently tagged hospitals appear to be THPHs. Much of the conversion can probably can be done in a spreadsheet, if it’s agreed on.

I’ve re-tagged some 60 individual doctors’ clinics to amenity=doctors / healthcare=doctor (changesets 87414857 and 87414921). I only looked at the names, and changed just the most obvious ones.

First off, thanks for the effort paul_12. This is a comment, sort of an aside, about Google Translate but it bears on this conversation because of how tricky it is to transliterate Thai to English. This is something all non-Thai speaker OSMers struggle with constantly.

When paul_12 posted his reply I checked a few of the clinics and realized he hadn’t added the English transliteration to the ones he updated. Lately, I have been using Google Translate in addition to the Thai-Romanization program to convert long phrases or names to English so I thought it would be interesting to try it on the name of one of the clinics in the first changeset supplied by paul_12. My thinking was that later when I have some time on my hands I would go through those clinics and add the name:en tags to them.

I copied and pasted คลินิกแพทย์หญิงนภปกรณ์ into Google Translate and got this result: “Naphapakorn Clinic”

Sounds fine, right? However, when I put that same Thai name into the Thai Romanization program, it produced this result: “Khlinik Phaet Ying Noppha Pakon”

Disregarding the different spelling renditions for a moment and looking only at the wording, there are more words in the second result than Google’s result. What are those additional words and why did Google ignore them? My wife explained that the words “Phaet Ning” mean that the clinic is staffed by female doctors. For whatever reason, Google ignored this fact, perhaps because they don’t consider it an actual part of the name, but whatever the reason it might be very good for us to tag such places so that a male patient who was uncomfortable with a female doctor or a female patient uncomfortable with a male, could benefit from such knowledge beforehand. Once again, non-Thai speakers mapping in Thailand are flummoxed by the difficulty of properly translating and transliterating Thai to English.

But beyond that, is the gender of the doctors practicing at a particular clinic something we should consider in our tagging? If it is, how should that distinction best be handled? Is there a good way in English to reveal the words Female Doctors or Male Doctors in the clinic name? The words “Phaet Ning” are present in Thai but how would the name look in English if those words were included?

Naphapakorn Clinic (Female doctors), or Naphapakorn Female Doctor Clinic? It’s such a tricky question that Google didn’t even attempt to answer it.

Or we could add a tag, for example, doctors:sex=male/female/mixed, doctors:gender=male/female/mixed, or perhaps gender_type=male/female/mixed?

Only the last one exists presently and it has only about 115 instances.

Alternatively, we can forget about the gender of the practitioners entirely. IMO, however, we will still need to come up with a standard way to handle the gender references in those Thai names.

That’s actually a pretty apt assessment of the issue. He he.

The long answer is that นายแพทย์ (nai phaet) and แพทย์หญิง (phaet ying) are professional titles for male and female doctors, which would normally be translated as just “doctor”, so in this case a usual translation would be “Doctor Naphapakorn’s Clinic” (whatever the spelling). That of course loses the indication of the doctor’s gender. Here, the inclusion of the doctor’s title in the clinic’s name is probably deliberate, as she appears to be an obstetrician, a field where some patients are known to prefer female doctors. Are there natural-sounding options? “Doctoress” doesn’t seem like a good alternative in this century. “Doctor Ms Naphapakorn” might be a workable, if awkward, solution. I think a gender tag will more likely be understood as that of patients.

Ultimately it should of course depend on how the business writes its own name in English. Looking at their Facebook page, there’s a stylised logo that says “NK Clinic”, but it’s so much less informative I don’t think it’s meant to be the actual name. I’d probably do what Google does, drop the gender, and just go with “Doctor Naphapakorn’s Clinic”.

To my understanding the doctor title in Thai simply has gender forms. So using it in Thai sounds natural. It does not sound like someone wanted to emphasize the gender of the doctor, did they?
This is a very fine detail of the language here and probably only to be discussed by native speakers.

I saw some using “Khlinik Mo (Somcha or whatever)i”. I understand that “Mo” a less formal word for a doctor. And having no gender form.
So is the use of the formal title instead of some less formal one really that pushing towards they wanted to have the gender included?

If it really sounds like the gender is important to be in the name, then I would go for “Doctor Ms …” as suggested by Paul. Maybe not that smooth, but it at least keeps the gender, which was skipped in the English language.

BTW: For completeness and enjoyment, in German the title is always “Doktor”. You can address a female with “Frau Doktor”. I also saw sometimes used “Doktorin” when used in a way to describe the role.

Paul_12 said:

Thank you. That helps my understanding quite a bit. The meaning isn’t actually that the clinic is “staffed by female doctors” but that in Thailand a doctor’s official title embodies a gender. I had always thought of Thai as a genderless language (except for the particles “kaa” and “krap”) but languages are full of ambiguities. And I include English in that assessment because it’s loaded with irregular verbs, etc. It’s just as cumbersome for English speakers to use the pronouns “he” and “she” to describe an individual in a sentence but is forced to use “their” when referring to them both in the same sentence; the gender of the subject is lost in that case as well.

I think I agree with Stephan that if we decide it’s important to make the distinction we should prefer to use the official titles “Doctor Ms. …'” and “Doctor Mr. …” but IMO no matter what we decide here, that form is so cumbersome in English I would expect that many Thailand mappers would simply ignore the guideline. Therefore, we might be smart to follow Google’s lead and ignore the issue entirely. Thai speakers will understand the clinic names quite well and after all, this is Thailand, not the UK or USA.

This has been a fun discussion. I’m too old and set in my ways to ever become a competent speaker of Thai but I nevertheless enjoy language related stuff.



… and dichan vs. phom. And likely some Indian loan words (though the angels / gods of Khrung *thep *maha nakhon have lost their Indian gender of deva/devi).

I’ve gone through all the nodes tagged with amenity=doctors, amenity=clinic, amenity=hospital, or healthcare=* in Thailand, and identified 851 THPHs, 459 of which have names. I’m proposing a mass edit to normalise their tagging to follow the new system (the following example uses Ko Samet/เกาะเสม็ด as a placeholder name):

name:en=Ko Samet Subdistrict Health Promoting Hospital

Note that I’ve spelled the Thai name without a space between the prefix and the place name, since this is how the name usually appears in normal text. Please let me know if you think otherwise. I also have a few questions: (1) For THPHs whose names are unknown, should the blank name (โรงพยาบาลส่งเสริมสุขภาพตำบล / Subdistrict Health Promoting Hospital) be inserted in the name tag (similarly to the way they were before), or should I leave the name tag blank and use the description tag instead? (2) Should I tag all of them with emergency=no? (There are three which currently have emergency=yes. Should they be overwritten?)

I’ve also identified some typos and other facilities mistagged as hospitals, and plan to fix these in a separate edit.

I have not been too opinionated on this matter … I do understand as Westerners, we know there is a big difference between a clinic and a hospital. On those grounds, I support Pauls tagging.
However, I do map these clinics when ever I see them in the wilds, as being a biker, sometimes any treatment a few km away, is better than riding 50km to a hospital. On that basis, if a mass edit is done, I would definitely like to see the name:en tag include the words “Health Promoting Hospital”, with or without the Sub District appearing. Being in the description tag serves little purpose.
That way, at least users can locate the nearest, using a text based search on the GPS.

Here’s the osm file for the edit. I’d appreciate a few eyes to check that I haven’t messed up anything.

I would use “Subdistrict Health Promoting Hospital” respectively the Thai text in case the tambon name is not known (or we are unable to type or find someone to type it).

For the mass edit: I am uncertain regarding the alt_name. Is it still that widely in use to have it included?
“emergency=no” would clearly help to avoid urgent cases heading there instead of calling the ambulance or driving to a hospital.

How likely is it that the three facilities with the emergency=yes tagging actually are equipped to handle it? Is there street-level imagery available? I have a tendency to remove it if there is no strong indication of them providing it. For recently tagged places contacting the editor might be an option.

To add a bit confusion to the discussion, I just found an image where they had upgraded their sign to a bi-lingual one. They used “promotion” and “Tambon”. Still I think our translation is more standard and we should stick to it.

It is just borderline readable, sorry for the low image quality.

My wife suggests to use a space in Thai name before the name of the Tambon. This is also a bit more gentle to renderers not capable of doing Thai word separation

Thanks for the work on those names, Paul_12. I’m in favor of adding your edited data to OSM and agree with Stephan and his wife about adding the space in the Thai name. It will help non-Thai speakers to separate that important portion of the longer name. Also, I’m in favor of adding only the phrase “Subdistrict Health Promoting Hospital” in both Thai and English for those THPHs that have no name currently.

I think most urban-dwelling Thais are probably still more familiar with the sathani anamai name. They’re often still referred to as such in the news, and I’ve seen quite a few which still have both old and new signs up.

Unlikely, I think, if we’re referring to strokes, heart attacks or broken bones. It’s probably because each person’s definition of “emergency” differs, and some may be thinking e.g. of small accidents requiring stitches.

Hmm. If more of them appear, that would probably be indication that it’s centrally standardised and it’d be better for us to follow the wording. Could wait and see though.

I’m not sure if this gonna be something like “tagging for renderer”, since in official documents, the space is not appeared.
On the other hand, for geocoder, if we search for the full name of it, and if it is tagged with space, it won’t be appeared in the result.

However, I suggest to tag short_name=รพ.สต.xxxx for the purpose of searching.

@Paul_012 I had a look at your file. Without a diff view it is difficult so see what really changed but browsing through it looks fine. When doing the edit, please link in the comments to this thread to document the discussion regarding the mechanical edit.

I see some fixme tags added for places with missing names. Sounds reasonable as here opposed to completely missing tags we have some incomplete, generic name tag.

emergency=no has a definition in OSM, see the wiki:

Searching in Thai script might be challenging. I think I would normalize the string first and then segment before searching. So spaces in the name tag would not harm. Certainly all major rendering engines we have will face issues with the long Thai words. They might line-break at bad locations or hide labels due to space restrictions.
I am not that certain about the rules when it is tolerated to add spaces between words in Thai. If it is not completely wrong I would still add them for the benefit of readability. The sign above has a space in Thai and a line-break (=space) as well.

As an example, TLTK woud segment like this:

rongphayaban songsoem sukkhaphap tambon ban tha si

Sorry, I’ve been a bit preoccupied and just got around to making the edit (changeset). I opted for including the space, seeing as there’s a line break in the usual signage. Please let me know if you come across any errors.

I reviewed some of them. Looks good. I also adjusted my mapping process to remove the fixme when adding a name.

hello you all _

many many thanks for raising this issue - and for all the answers. this is a incredibly important discussion !!!

i am very glad to be here !!