1. Medical Tourism in Thailand
Health travel, once a luxury of only the rich, can now be enjoyed by virtually all. In the days of yesteryear, hardly anyone even pondered the possibilities of going abroad to a distant foreign land to have treatment. But now, with the advent of the world becoming the one and only global village, millions are crossing international datelines in hope of achieving a ‘better new life’.
One of those countries which have sprung to life as a destination for medical treatment is the south-east Asian country of Thailand. Unlike most Western countries, the cost of private medical treatment is cost-effective where hospitals do not charge a bomb. Contrary to popular belief, the standards in Thailand are of an extremely high international standard where many of the health workers have graduated in developed Western countries. Looking at it straight on, the reality is – Thailand can offer the patient the same kind of treatment as back home while enabling him or her to enjoy the holiday of a life time. The uptrend of medical tourism in Thailand is escalating to meteoric heights.
Thailand’s first hospital was founded during the reign of King Chulalongkorn and the Medical Association of Thailand was established in 1921.
Prince Mahidol, the father of the present king Bhumibol, has much to do with developing medical schools in Thailand and goes down in Thai history as ‘The Father of Modern Thai medicine’. Prince Mahidol realized the importance of bringing Western standard medical practice to Siam and so helped fund many of Thailand’s doctors and nurses to go abroad to further their studies at institutes such as Harvard and MIT in the United States. And it was those health workers who planted and later sowed the seeds of a world-class medical network in Thailand.
Westerners are currently arriving in Thailand, the Land of Smiles, in exhilarating numbers to undergo medical treatments at a fraction of the cost as that charged in their home countries.
On top of having treatments conducted by highly trained and skilled doctors, patients can also enjoy a marvelous holiday in one of Asia’s prime tourist destinations. Many of the country’s hospitals are now globally renowned for their expertise. They include Bumrungrad Hospital, Bangkok General Hospital, Samitivej Hospital and Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital.
Figures and Statistics
Thailand as a destination for medical treatment has rocketed in recent years and they have the statistics to prove it. Take just one country like the United Arab Emirates for example – over 60,000 of their citizens a year come to Thailand to enjoy treatment. Two of the Thailand’s top hospitals Bumrungrad and Samitivej treat patients of whom 40% are foreign – this kind of high percentage is quite phenomenal.
According to the Kasikorn Research Centre, 2005 alone attracted an unprecedented 1.28 million foreign medical travelers which generated revenue of 33 billion baht. That means therefore, that on average each patient spent 25,800 baht for their treatments. It was revealed in …