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Thailand Aims To Revive Medical Tourism

Published: Октябрь 6, 2021 at 7:24 пп

bumrungrad international hospital

Thailand is busy preparing to reopen the country to foreign visitors as part of its plan for learning to live with COVID or so called “New Normal”, Thai companies want to provide services related to COVID-19 while also reviving medical tourism. Bumrungrad International Hospital has opened its first COVID-19 rehabilitation center, providing all COVID options to wealthy locals and foreigners.

The hospital’s chief executive officer, Artirat Charukitpipat, told reports”The COVID-19 recovery center serves as a health hub for individuals that have been infected by COVID,” The BIH provides care for infected patients as well as for those experiencing “symptomatic COVID” symptoms.

The hospital provides inpatient and outpatient care, quarantine, intensive care, and telemedicine for patients who undergo isolation at home. In addition, the BIH provides rehabilitation treatments to patients experiencing symptoms of prolonged COVID in order to assist them in regaining strength and complete recovery.

Thailand’s biggest private health care company Bangkok Dusit Medical Services also gives a premium alternative quarantine resort in Bangkok’s central business district. Depending on the traveler’s vaccination status, it will begin offering quarantine packages of 7, 10, or 14 days on October 1.

Other prominent hospitals in Bangkok and other towns across the country have started similar programs in anticipation of increased demand as the country opens to visitors and international investors.

This is in order for the Thai government’s goal to market medical tourism as part of its effort to establish Thailand as ASEAN’s medical hub, providing premium healthcare at affordable rates.

“With health care experts and the unmatched Thai hospitality, we have the potential to be the medical hub of Asia,” a senior official at TAT told reports.

Thailand now has 64 hospitals accredited by Joint Commission International, the most in ASEAN and the 4th in the world, positioning the country to benefit from medical tourism.

Prior to the pandemic, Thailand earned THB 59.8 billion ($1.8 billion) in 2019. This accounted for approximately 3% of total international tourist income and was growing at a rate of roughly 3.5 percent per year, mainly servicing customers from Middle East, Europe, and America.

central Bangkok's Khaosan Road
Before the pandemic, Khaosan Road in Bangkok is packed with visitors.

In 2020-2021, no medical tourism income was recorded owing to the market’s collapse, mainly due to the lockdown. The Tourism Authority of Thailand remains optimistic about the country’s medical tourism potential, having developed a proactive promotion strategy and set a 5% revenue growth target for 2022.

This is consistent with world trends; the global medical tourism sector is expected to reach $808 billion in 2021, growing at a pace of up to 7.5% annually. This created an opportunity for Thailand to capitalize especially when the pandemic was creating new business opportunities.

With 27.7% of the entire population now completely vaccinated, the administration intends to reopen the nation by implementing a “living with COVID” policy. Medical-related businesses launch services in anticipation of the strategy’s implementation, but other businesses and mobile operators are also preparing for the country’s reopening.

Businesses offer COVID-related services especially to individuals who cannot afford premium quality care at high-end hospitals at a time when the need for COVID treatment may resurface once the country’s borders reopen.

This would help in providing medicines and adequate treatment to patients wishing to undergo home isolation and reduce bed occupancy in hospitals if new COVID cases increased once the country reopened to international tourists.

AIS or Advance Info Service, the largest mobile operator in the country, has partnered with medical startups and hospital chains to offer free telemedicine services. The company enables customers to use their reward points to avail discounts on COVID-19 insurance and medicine.

Bussaya Satirapipatkul, AIS’s director of customer and service management, said that, after two years of living with COVID, we discovered that Thai people are more concerned about their health and want to protect themselves.

Source: Nikkei Asia

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