The Public Health Ministry will develop Thailand as ASEAN’s medical hub, aiming to draw in more foreigners for medical treatment by 10 per cent/year.
Public Health Minister Dr Pradit Sintavanarong said on the weekly televised programme “PM Yingluck Government Meets the People” that the government is preparing the country to become ASEAN’s medical and health club.
Thailand aims to generate revenues of Bt14 billion and attract more than the existing one million patients per year
The duration of medical visa allowed for tourists is to be extended from 30 days to 90 days with four persons permitted to accompany one patient under conditions set by the government. Such visas are already provided for patients in the Middle East and will be given to those from Scandinavian countries.
The government will be publicising its promotions to attract at least 10 per cent more foreign patients to the country per year within 5 years. Foreign patients will be encouraged to seek treatment at private hospitals in order that service provisions will be sufficient and not affect the Thai public, while public hospitals are to focus on developing technology and medical knowledge as well as reduce inequality of service offered to the public.
Dr Pradit said medical conferences should also be organised, in collaboration with the Tourism and Sports Ministry, to publicise the work of Thai medical teams to the world. If organised regularly, he said the events would be able to establish credibility and reinforce a good image of the Thai medical profession internationally. (MCOT online news)