Bangkok hospitals report surge in medical tourists as Covid recedes
Three private hospitals in Bangkok have reported a surge of foreign patients since Thailand lifted Covid-19 travel controls in June.
Panacee Hospital director Dr Perapat Tangjai said the performance of Thai private hospitals has dramatically improved in the fourth quarter as foreigners return to the country for treatment.
The uptick is being driven by patients from Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Vietnam who have high purchasing power and are seeking the advanced medical technologies that Thailand has to offer, he said.
Perapat also expects the number of Chinese medical tourists to increase once China reopens.
“Foreign tourists are also arriving for alternative hospital treatments such as traditional herbal remedies and natural therapy," he said.
He predicted fourth-quarter revenue of private Thai hospitals will double in the fourth quarter from the same period last year.
Elsewhere, Vimut Hospital has expanded its alternative medicine and physical check-up programmes, conducted staff training, and recruited interpreters to handle the increasing numbers of foreign patients, director Dr Santi Ueanoraset said.
The interpreter team is fluent in English Chinese and other languages, while a coordinating team is on hand to help foreign patients with visas, documentation and insurance, he added. The hospital has also been drawing more customers from other provinces as the Covid-19 crisis recedes, he said
Thonburi Healthcare Group (THG) CEO Dr Tanatip Suppradit said medical travellers had led the return of tourists to Thailand after the country reopened in June.
He expects the number of medical tourists to rise further in the fourth quarter, adding that THG would especially benefit from Australian and Arab visitors seeking treatment.