Thailand to be promoted as Asia’s medical hub

Bernadette Carreon – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Bangkok, Thailand (4E) – The Thailand government will promote its country as the medical hub of Asia that will provide medical services, latest medical technology and medicine, and every activity related to modern medicine, alternative medicine and biotechnology.

Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) at the same time announces its support.

BOI said in a statement that Thailand has outstanding fundamental structure in the medical field and the human resources are recognized to be of international standard. Thai medical services are renowned worldwide, resulting in a rapid growth in related industries such as spa, Thai massage, Thai herbs, serviced apartments and health tourism.

According to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the Government has clearly set a policy, in which will to be implemented from 2012 to 2016, to turn Thailand into a medical hub in four major areas: medical treatment, health promotion, traditional Thai medicine and alternative medicine, and health products, especially Thai herbs.

Also, Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri expects that this policy will bring in 800 billion baht in earnings in the next five years. Since the beginning of 2012, about 2.5 million foreign tourists have visited Thailand for medical services, thus bringing in about 121.6 billion baht.

Another objective is to encourage health establishments in Thailand to improve their services to higher standards. At present, Thailand is home to 256 private hospitals all over the country and most of them have been internationally accredited as No. 1 in Asia, while 33 spas are classified as world class.

To strengthen Thailand’s position as the medical hub of Asia, BOI has granted tax exemptions to health care providers such as rehabilitation centers, hospitals, health food producers and medical tool manufacturers.

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