Medical tourism is fast becoming very popular in Thailand, especially given the fact there are some very good hospitals in Thailand catering specifically to foreign patients. Bumrungrad Hospital, Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital and Samitivej Hospital are three such hospitals which are also popular with the local foreign population living in Bangkok.
You would be surprise to know that these three hospitals having been promoting themselves quite actively in the last four to five years and now 60 percent of the patients in Bumrungrad Hospital are foreigners while Samitivej Hospitals has 40 percent. It is not that these hospitals do not accept Thai patients. They do. However, while foreigners consider these hospitals cheaper than the hospitals in their own country, most Thai cannot afford these hospitals. Hence, they do not visit them.
It is estimated that nearly 1.28 million foreigners visit Thai hospitals each year bring in revenues close to 33 billion baht.
Hospitals like Bumrungrad Hospital are covered a lot of U.S. television station and international magazines like Newsweek.
There is no doubt that medical tourism in Thailand is all set to become a major revenue generator not just for the hospitals but also for the country. The prices offered in Thailand are much lower compared to the U.S. and UK. However, the standard of treatment and technology is as high if not better. One thing is for sure that the hospitals in Thailand more hospitable and friendly.
Though medical tourism in Thailand is booming, the omnipresent question is whether the poor of the country will get the same facility and treatment. From end of 2006, healthcare has become free in Thailand but there is a dearth of doctors in poorer provinces as doctors prefer to work for private hospitals where the salaries are higher.