Thailand Plans To Become A Global Center For Medical Tourism By 2024
Thailand has set a goal to become a global health and Wellness center by 2024 to attract international travelers to the Kingdom and 1 million Thais from abroad, according to the Tourism Department of the country.
According to the Agency's Governor, Utasak Supasorn, as the pandemic increases public health awareness and increases the demand for preventive and regenerative medicines, the Agency has an opportunity to implement the initiative, especially due to the country's strong reputation in providing medical services. Before the outbreak, the Kingdom already had a solid market share in health services. In 2018, 3.2 million foreigners visited Thailand to receive medical services, which brought the economy about 45 billion baht ($1.45 billion), the Bangkok Post newspaper writes.
To achieve the new goal within five years, the Agency will expand the target market to about 1 million Thais living abroad, who have experienced difficulties accessing medical services in other countries.
Srisuda Vanapinyosak, head of the Agency's Europe, Africa, Middle East, and America division, said the plan will consist of five parts. The first is providing telemedicine to Thais abroad in partnership with the online service platform Dr A to Z and consular departments. It is emphasized that online services are cheaper than visiting doctors in foreign countries. Besides, it will provide Thais with a better state of health and tell them about additional services at home that they can use on their return.
The second is to attract hotels that are interested in tourists from all over the world. The Agency will encourage hotels in Thailand to develop on-site medical services by partnering with accredited hospitals to provide certain types of medical or therapeutic procedures that can be performed outside of hospitals, such as General checkups, ozone therapy, immune enhancement, or chelation therapy. "Hotels can become another channel of communication and dissemination of information about health services in Thailand - sure Wanamingos. "They can work with partner hospitals to provide preliminary consultations before guests travel to Thailand for medical services."
Another campaign is aimed at broad market coverage by creating an online platform for healthcare operators in Thailand, as well as medical agents or intermediaries abroad. The fourth initiative is to expand the intergovernmental partnership with a large number of countries, aimed at civil servants who have state insurance. The fifth campaign is aimed at reaching the media through the Agency's 29 offices around the world.
Nora Resorts and Hotels group Vice President Vorasit Pongkumpunt is confident that after the pandemic, the demand for Wellness treatments will increase. According to him, this is a key segment for the development of tourism on the island of Koh Samui, along with traditional entertainment and conventional tourism. About 10% of the 600 hotels on the island are focused on medical tourism. More and more players will enter this market to get a new source of income, the expert believes.