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The Mae Tao Clinic, founded and directed by Dr Cynthia Maung, provides free health care for refugees, migrant workers, and other individuals who make the dangerous journey across the border from Burma to Thailand.
People of all ethnicities and religions are welcome at the clinic. Its origins go back to the student pro-democracy movement in Burma in 1988 and the brutal repression by the Burmese regime of that movement. The fleeing students who needed medical attention were attended in a small house in Mae Sot.
Since 1989, the Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) has grown from that one small house to a large complex of simple buildings that provide a wide variety of health services to different groups of people. Today, it serves a target population of approximately 150,000 on the Thai-Burma border. Exact numbers are hard to calculate because of the fluidity of the population. About 50% of those who come to MTC for medical attention are migrant workers in the Mae Sot area; the other 50% travel across the border from Burma for care.
In addition to the comprehensive services provided at its onsite facilities, MTC also promotes general health through partnerships with other community-based organisations. We work together to implement and advocate for social and legal services, as well as access to education for people living along the border.
The future vision for MTC is to continue providing quality health and social services. MTC is endeavouring to further promote health education, and improve access to and utilisation of its health services. MTC also advocates for improved access to quality education for migrant children in the Mae Sot area and works to strengthen the child rights and child protection network among local and international human rights institutions. MTC serves a broader role as a community centre and centre for advocacy with respect to issues related to Burma and the migrant community.