Updated on 24 December 2012
Thailand is emerging as a medical tourism hub, thanks to the many initiatives of the country's public sector
Singapore: Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) is extending its complete support to transform Thailand into a medical hub in Asia. In this regard it is providing medical services, latest medical technology, medicine, and is further strengthening modern medicine, alternative medicine and biotechnology.
The Thai government is also extending its help and is confident that Thailand has outstanding fundamental structure in the medical field and the human resources are recognized to be of international standard. Thai medical services are renowned worldwide, resulting in a rapid growth in related industries such as spa, Thai massage, Thai herbs, serviced apartments.
The promotion of Thailand as a hotspot for health tourism was reflected in the Thailand Medical Hub Export 2012. The event depicted the reaffirmation of Thailand and the Ministry of Public Health to show readiness and potential of the country to becoming an international medical hub that is also affordable to both Thais and foreigners.
According to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the government has clearly set a policy, which will to be implemented from 2012-to-2016, to turn Thailand into a medical hub in four major areas, including medical treatment, health promotion, traditional Thai medicine and alternative medicine, and health products, especially Thai herbs. Also, Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri expects that this policy will bring in $26.12 billion (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 $3.97 billion (121.6 billion baht). Another objective is to encourage health establishments in Thailand to improve their services to higher standards. At present, Thailand is home to 256 private hospitals all over the country and most of them have been internationally accredited as No 1 in Asia, while 33 spas are classified as world class.