History of the TUA
Though the Urology Society of Thailand had held activities on a regular basis, the situation of urology surgery abroad was different, as surgeons gathered and established an association. For activities and communication with international urology associations to continue smoothly and equally on par with one another, Thai surgeons came together as an association, similar to what had been done abroad. The person who played an important role in formulating the idea to establish the Thai Urological Association was Professor Phaitun Gojaseni, the director of the Association, who held this position from 1987-1991.
Professor Phaitun recounted that at a later stage in the Society’s meetings, this issue had been brought up to be discussed on several occasions. But many senior lecturers were not in agreement, reasoning that the Society was already operating smoothly. They argued that to establish an association looked like a difficult matter, citing the need to deal with many government departments, such as the Special Branch Police Bureau. However, in the end, many participants accepted Professor Phaitun’s idea and assigned him the task of establishing it. At the time, he was also the Society President.
He added that what was in his hands at the time was a list of some 100 members’ names and a bank book. So, he consulted Mr. Somnuek Limtong, who used to work with him at the Reproductive Health Association, about a plan to establish a new association. With Mr. Somnuek’s skill, the coordination to form the association succeeded. However, the main issue facing the new association was the absence of an office. The registration of an association required that it must have an identifiable office location in a permanent building and that the building must be available for inspection. Photos showing the site must be taken and attached to the application form.
When Mr. Somnuek brought this matter up for discussion with Professor Phaitun, he was silent for a moment. Mr. Somnuek then said: “Professor, perhaps you could think of some place to be used?” Professor Phaitun then generously let his house be used as the association’s office, located at 55/7 Phyathai Rd., Bangkok. But another problem arose. The parking lot was not large enough. We had to ask the Uthai Medical Clinic next door to allow the association to use its extra space and have photos taken to be attached to the application. When all the documents reached the Special Branch Police Bureau, many were worried that there would be difficulties because no one had experience dealing with the Bureau before. However, this turned out not to be difficult. It passed through in no time. Dr.Sompong Sangmit later revealed that the Commander of the Special Branch Police Bureau was none other than “Pol. Maj. Gen. Kasem Sangmit”.
On July 12, 1988, the National Cultural Commission granted permission for the establishment of title “The Association of Urological Surgeons of Thailand”. Professor Phaitun Gojaseni was the first president of the Association and Dr. Viroj Chotchoy was appointed the first secretary. The registration of The Association of Urological Surgeons of Thailand took place at the Special Branch Bureau on March 22, 1989. The Association’s English title was changed to the “Thai Urological Association” (TUA) on July 14, 1996.
With a devotion to develop the Thai people’s quality of life, the Thai Urological Association received the greatest honor in having been granted His Majesty’s patronage on October 3, 2005. Additional words were added at the end of the title: “The Urological Association (Thailand) under the Royal Patronage” on August 28, 2006. Later, the Executive Committee of the Association with Dr. Kritsada Ratana-Olarn, President of the Association, considered changing its name to be more international. On June 29, 2007 the name was changed once more to “The Thai Urological Association under the Royal Patronage”; the name which remains today.