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Bangkok’s largest international hospital hurts from halt in medical tourism

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Facebook: Bumrungrad Hospital

The coronavirus outbreak has hospitals across the world at their limits, but at one Thailand’s largest and most famous hospitals, the number of patients has been cut in half.

Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok heavily relies on medical tourism. Since the pandemic has ground much of international travel to a halt, Bumrungrad is getting hit hard. 50% of the patients at Bumrungrad come from overseas, the hospital’s CEO Artirat Charukitpipat says.

“They’ve now disappeared.”

“The most important question is how we will get over this crisis. At Bumrungrad, agility runs in our blood. We have great staff, and they are ready to adjust.”

Thailand is considered to be one of the most popular destinations for people seeking top quality and affordable care, from hair transplants to gender reassignment surgery. Last year, 632,000 of medical treatments snd episodes at the hospital were from foreign patients, making up two-thirds of the hospital’s revenue.

“The Covid-19 crisis is a very tough test for all businesses. The most important question is how we will get over this crisis.”

Bumrungrad is one of the largest hospitals in south east Asia, and the hospital touts it’s “world-class” care on its website. Patients at Bumrungrad come from over 180 countries with their highest earnings coming from Myanmar, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. With a high volume of international patients, the hospital has a interpreters, a visa extension counter and provides embassy and travel assistance. They also have 62 overseas referral offices in 28 countries.

“For now, the hospital continues to practice telemedicine, or providing medical assistance remotely.”

They also have new residence programs for those who need to quarantine. During this time, the hospital is also being eyed by Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, which is the largest hospital operator in the country. The pending take-over of Bumrungrad includes an offer of about 85 billion baht. Bangkok Dusit Medical Services are already the Hospital’s largest single shareholder.

Bumrungrad said in a filing to the Thai stock exchange on February 27 that it was “surprised” by the bid.

SOURCE: Bloomberg | Bumrungrad Hospital

Bangkok's largest international hospital hurts from halt in medical tourism | News by Thaiger

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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