September 2016: Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health has introduced health packages to support the country’s medical tourism marketing and sales campaigns.
Called “Visit Thailand Enhance Your Healthy Life”, the project is expected to gain the support of 70 hospitals and clinics certified by JCI international standards.
Wealthy foreign travellers who are in good health, but are hooked on annual check-ups are the main sales target.
inside no 1According to the Ministry’s Department of Health Service Support, three health packages are on offer including medical check-ups according to age groups, dental service and infertility treatment with the latest medical reproductive technology.
A basic medical check-up package costs USD93 for visitors 30 years or under; USD260 to USD347 for 30 to 40 age bracket; USD440 to USD527 for 40 to 50; and USD447 to USD564 for those 50 years or more. So far 27 private hospitals have signed up for the campaign.
Dental service package and infertility treatment fees vary depending on service category.
The lead-partner for the campaign is the Department of Health Service Support with support from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and private hospitals.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is supporting the project by publicising the packages through its social media channels and directly to consumers and medical tourism agencies through its worldwide office network.
During his introduction of the country’s 2016 to 2017 tourism marketing plan, earlier this year, Tourism Authority of Thailand’s governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, identified high-yield niche markets such as medical tourism as key components to build the quality benchmark and improve tourism spend.
Medical tourism, health and wellness, he said, were primed to deliver substantial benefits for Thailand’s tourism industry over the years.
“Medical tourism is not only about treatments and curative medicine, but also the vast area of health and wellness checks, massage and traditional medicine,” he said.
Nation-wide the healthcare system in Thailand treated 2.81 million foreign patients in 2015, up 10.2%. In 2013, medical tourists contributed an estimated USD4.7 billion to the Thailand’s economy.
Medical tourism makes up 0.4% of Thailand’s GDP, while tourism overall accounts for around 6% to 7%, and is considered the third most important economic driver in Thailand.
Medical tourism globally has a value exceeding USD439 million with a projected growth rate of up to 25% year-over-year for the next 10 years, according to a VISA and Oxford Economics report.
The research claimed that 3% to 4% of the world population will cross an overland border checkpoint, or travel by airline internationally, for healthcare and health related treatments. Medical travel market revenue could soar to an astronomical USD3 trillion by 2025 and Thailand figures as one of top three destinations in Asia that is well positioned to benefit.