Developing Thailand into a Medical Hub
- The Government Public Relations Department
- August 28, 2012
The Ministry of Public Health is taking steps to develop Thailand into an international medical hub, with an emphasis on wellness under the condition that the international healthcare program should not affect the availability of good, affordable health care for Thai patients.
It will organize “Thailand Medical Expo 2012” to showcase the potential and readiness of Thailand for becoming a world-class health care destination.
The event will take place at Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi province, between 30 August and 2 September 2012. It will include an exhibition on the achievements of health services in Thailand, a trade fair on health products, seminars and workshops, free medical check-ups, and healthcare business negotiations with foreign countries.
The Government has set a policy to turn the country into a medical hub in four major areas: medical treatment, health promotion, traditional Thai medicine and alternative medicine, and health products, especially Thai herbs. It has also worked out a strategy, to be implemented from 2012 to 2016, for the development of Thailand into a medical hub. Another objective is to encourage health establishments in Thailand to improve their services to higher standards.
In response to this policy, the stay of foreigners seeking medical services in Thailand has been extended from 30 to 90 days. The visitors also have the right to multiple entries into Thailand in a year. In the initial stage, the privileges will be available for visitors from five Middle Eastern countries, namely the United Arab Emirates, the State of Qatar, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri expects that this policy will bring in 800 billion baht in earnings in the next five years. Since the beginning of 2012, about 2.5 million foreign tourists have visited Thailand for medical services, thus bringing in about 121.6 billion baht.
Modern facilities and equipment, as well as internationally qualified medical doctors, nurses, and technical staff, are considered advantageous for Thailand to promote itself as a first-class destination. The country is known to offer top-quality medical treatment at a reasonable cost, comparable to anywhere else in the world. To date, many hospitals have been recognized and approved as meeting the standards set for the Hospital Accreditation of Thailand and international standards, such as ISO.
Thailand has good potential for development into the medical hub, since its health business, especially spa services and traditional Thai massage, is recognized worldwide. Traditional Thai and alternative medicine is likely to attract more foreign visitors for medical care in Thailand, as well.
(Source: Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister / Developing Thailand into a Medical Hub)