Sunday, September 27, 2020

Hospital stocks boosted by return of medical tourists

Jul 02. 2020
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By The Nation

Private hospital share prices are recovering after the government’s fifth phase of lockdown easing allowed foreigners to visit Thailand for medical treatment, said experts.

Parin Kitchatornpitak, an analyst at KGI Securities (Thailand), said that the price of hospital stocks is likely to increase after the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) lifted the restriction on medical tourists.

"According to the CCSA, 30,000 to 50,000 foreigners are set to undergo medical treatment in Thailand, after submitting travel itineraries and undergoing 14-day quarantine," he said.

The government's move to ban foreign arrivals from April hit hospitals hard, since foreign patients contribute anything from 10 per cent to 60 per cent of their revenue.

"However, we expect shares in hospitals that receive revenue from foreign patients to increase significantly from the fourth quarter of this year onwards, as countries ease their lockdown measures and a Covid-19 vaccine comes available," he added.

Meanwhile, Apaporn Sawangpak, head of research at DBS Vickers Securities (Thailand), said that a collaboration between hospital network Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS) and China’s Ping An Health insurers will draw up to 4,000 Chinese medical tourists per year.

"BDMS expects this collaboration to generate up to Bt2 billion per year in revenue," she said.

She explained that prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, 70 per cent of BDMS revenue came from Thai patients, and 30 per cent from foreigners.

"Most foreign patients came from the Middle East, followed by Japan, Myanmar and China," she said.

She expects BDMS performance to improve in the second half of this year in response to the lockdown easing.

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