Thai medical tourism is making a comeback

According to an analysis report by Krungthai Compass, a research institute under Krungthai Bank, Thailand’s medical tourism industry is recovering from setbacks caused by the effects of Covid-19, particularly the now canceled Thailand Pass program.

Private hospitals, especially large hospital chains that depend on foreign patient income, have suffered under Covid. This is supported by a study by the Kasikorn Research Center, which found a 90% drop in the number of medical tourists arriving in 2021, with the majority of them being forced to postpone hospital consultations from the Middle East, ASEAN countries. Demon. According to Krungthai Compass, a significant portion of the 8.9 million foreign tourists visiting Thailand in 2022 came for medical care.

One year medical tourism visa

The new visa policy, which allows foreigners seeking medical care to stay in the country for up to one year without leaving the country, was agreed in principle by the Cabinet of Ministers last year.

According to news estimates, more than 3.1 million foreign visitors entered the country in October, an increase of more than 43% compared to September.

Thailand leads other Asian countries in the proportion of hospitals that have achieved Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, the gold standard for patient safety and high-quality healthcare worldwide. According to the December 2021 JCI list, the country has 60 JCI-accredited medical facilities nationwide, compared to 37 in India, 31 in Japan, 17 in Malaysia and 5 in Singapore.

A $104.68 billion market in 2019

According to Allied Market Research, the global medical tourism market exceeded USD 104.68 billion in 2019 and is forecast to reach USD 273.72 billion by 2027. Compared to USD 9.1 billion (or about 200 billion baht) in 2019, the research center predicts that Thailand’s medical tourism business will reach USD 24.4 billion (or about 760 billion baht) in 2027. Thailand’s market share in international medical tourism increased by 9%. in 2019.

The highest savings can be achieved for more complex procedures such as bypass surgery and heart valve replacement. While this type of surgery can cost $75,000 in the US, it will only set you back a third of that amount in Thailand.

Hip replacements can cost upwards of $33,000 in the United States. The same treatment can cost as little as US$13,000 in Thailand. A knee replacement procedure can cost up to $30,000 in the United States, but only $11,500 in Thailand. So it’s easy to see why people would fly to Thailand for these surgeries.