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Bangkok Hospital Group seeks to stitch up Phuket market with B3.6bn PIH buyout

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Bangkok Hospital Group seeks to stitch up Phuket market with B3.6bn PIH buyout | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Bangkok Dusit Medical Services PLC (BDMS), commonly referred to as the Bangkok Hospital Group, announced on Tuesday its intent to purchase Phuket International Hospital (PIH) for 3.61 billion baht.

According to a document submitted by BDMS to the President of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the sale is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, once due diligence is completed by PIH.

Following the sale, PIH will be renamed Bangkok Phuket International and operated as a subsidiary of the Bangkok Hospital Group, “in order to support its business expansion and hospital operation in Phuket Province”.

The acquisition will allow BDMS to take ownership of 99.9% of PIH shares, as well as accepting the transfer of all its liabilities to an amount not exceeding 416 million baht.

In the document, BDMS states three key benefits expected to arise from its acquisition; “(1) Enhancing the capacity of the group companies in servicing middle class patients (both domestic and foreign) in the southern part of Thailand. (2) Providing additional channels for patient’s referrals to the network hospitals. (3) Establishing a platform to accommodate the growth of medical tourism in Phuket Province.”

Established in 1990, PIH was originally called Siriroj Hospital and had 151 beds which was later expanded to 281. Ekapol Tharasiriroj, one of the largest shareholders of PIH could not be reached for comment, and marketing staff at the hospital declined to comment on the sale.

The Bangkok Hospital group also recently opened its newest branch, Dibuk Hospital, located on Chao Fa West Road with the aim of servicing the southern part of the island. According to Dibuk Hospital Director Piriya Atisook, the new branch is part of the Bangkok Hospital Group’s planned expansion of services in Southern Thailand.

Bangkok Hospital Group is the Kingdom’s largest hospital operator with 13 network locations throughout Thailand. Marketing and PR staff from Bangkok Hospital Phuket declined to comment on the sale and said the company would prepare and release a statement to the media.

The Phuket Gazette’s property expert Bill Barnett, who broke the story on his website phuketinsider.com (story here), raised the possibility of price increases at the hospital under the new owners.

“It’s unclear if the transaction will see Bangkok Hospital Group try to push similar [prices to its existing pricing policy] but there is scope for it and for business that makes sense cost-wise,” he said.

“Consolidation makes sense in many sectors as the market matures because they can effectively buy a further share,” he added.

— Mark Knowles

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Business

Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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