Thailand is currently in period of transition in many ways. Economic structure
of the country is now entering an era of change and economic development in the
new model, called Thailand 4.0 managed by innovation (Value- Based Economy), an
economic reform that aims to develop into a stable, prosperous and sustainable
country including government’s policy to develop the country to be medical hub
in new engine of growth in term of new S- curve. This is an important mechanism
to increase revenue for the country.
Department of Health Service Support, Ministry of Public Health has been
assigned as the main organization for administer the engine of strategic plans
of the country’s development as the medical hub (Medical Hub’s policy) since
2003. The main productions are divided into 4 categories as follows: 1)
Wellness Hub 2) Medical Service Hub 3) Academic Hub 4) Product Hub.
The government is promoting medical tourism policy. The Ministry of Public
Health together with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has appointed a
committee to develop and promote medical and wellness tourism and to push the
country to be a medical hub. A Strategic Plan to Develop Thailand as an
International Medical Hub (2016 - 2025) which have been approved by the cabinet
since 13 September 2016. It was created to manage flagship projects and quick-
win projects to be done in specific period of time, In order to support
government’s policy to increase revenue of the country and raise standard of
medical services and facilities.
According to foreign tourist travelling to Thailand (Department of Tourism,
2016) on August over the same period in 2559, mainly from East Asia such as
China, Malaysia, Japan and korea etc., There are two purposes of medical
tourism: (1) for receiving medical treatment and (2) for rehabilitation. The
market value is very high, about 1}604 billion baht which Thailand is one of
Product markets and health service businesses in Thailand have expanded
continuously. As it is worth not lower than 107,000 million baht at the present
time and it is expected that there will be more tendency of continuous increase
after the opening of ASEAN Economic Community in the end of this year (kasikorn
Research Center Ltd., 2015).
There were clients for 1.2 million visits of getting services (Department of
Health Service Support, 2014), generating 1.4 million baht from the first sixth
countries which are Republic of the Union of Myanmar, People’s Republic of
China (PRC), Japan, United States of America, United Kingdom, and Middle
Bloomberg Magazine, a leading global magazine, reported that Thailand is number
one out of ten of the Top of Medical Travel Destination in 2013.
Top foreign magazines reported that Thailand’s hospital that was ranked as the
best hospitals was Bamrungrad Hospital (data from the website of
Medical Travel Quality Alliance, 2014).