Medical tourism- from breast augmentation and teeth whitening to heart surgery and orthopedics- is big business for Thailand as figures show total revenue of over Bt97.8 billion in 2012. Thailand is home to many high quality hospitals and has been working to become a premier destination for all forms medical tourism, the government fully supports medical tourism. How serious is Thailand? check out this press release from December 2012 that came from the Thailand Medical Tourism Board:
New figures & numbers for Medical Tourism Industry in Thailand
For years, the true number of medical tourist flocking Thailand each year has been discussed within the medical tourism industry. The figures presented by the Thai officials have by medical tourism professionals repeatedly been regarded as deliberately being elevated, in order to appoint Thailand’s right for the medical tourism crown.
Resent figures presented by the Chief of the Department of Health Service Support, Mr. Somchai Pinyopornpanich, reported that the growing trend of foreigners seeking medical aid in Thailand generated Bt97.8 billion (USD 3.1 billion) in 2011.
Top Countries Seeking Medical Tourism in Thailand
- Middle East
Medical tourists vs. Expatriates in Thailand
When presenting these figures, Mr. Somchai Pinyopornpanich also pinpointed the three main groups of foreigners seeking medical treatment in Thailand as the following:
- Foreign residents, so called Expatriates: 41,4%
- Tourists using some medical services during their stay: 32%
- Visitors seeking specific medical treatments in Thailand 26,6%
True number of Medical Tourists in Thailand
Through acknowledging that most foreign patient seeking medical treatment in Thailand are not so called fly-ins, deliberately coming to Thailand with the main purpose of a surgery, wellness treatment or dental care, the previous numbers of medical tourists can be vastly reduced. The former statistics deriving from the Tourism Authority of Thailand of around 1.5 million medical tourists flocking Thailand each year shows that the true number might be closer to 600,000 medical tourists in Thailand for 2011, and with an estimation of about 673,000 medical tourists for 2012.
Although these “truer” numbers might seem discouraging for medical tourism industry players, they are welcomed by most professionals that have requested fairer calculations and estimations for many years.
The full article can be found here.