The government has a policy for Thailand to become a ‘Medical and Wellness’ destination and world-class medical hub. It was forecasted that in 2017, international patients will generate THB48-49 billion income for private hospitals, representing a 3%-4% growth from the previous year.
According to the International Healthcare Research Center (IHRC), medical tourism is likely to grow 14% annually, aligning with the yearly 12% growth of international tourist arrivals in Thailand. The growth of medical tourism in Thailand is a combined result of the rising income and the increase of the middle class, leading to higher spending on tourism; people becoming more concerned about their health due to higher prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and work stress; and the rising trend of experiential travel.
As part of the strategic plan to become a Medical Hub (2017-2026), the cabinet has approved, in principle, the extended permission-to-stay for citizens of 19 countries identified as potential sources of medical tourists, and the smart visa campaign.
Head of Infrastructure, Government, Healthcare and Hotel, KPMG in Thailand
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