Healthy alliance: Thai-US partnership to inject vitality into EEC healthcare

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

A joint venture is underway between Thailand and the United States, aimed at boosting investments within the healthcare and medical sectors in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). This initiative is designed to support healthcare services for both ageing and young populations while promoting targeted industries.

Forecasts from the Thai Health Promotion Foundation indicate a rapid growth trajectory for the medical equipment market. This is due to Thailand’s shift into an aged society in 2022, where individuals over 60 years old make up over 20% of the country’s 71 million populace.

Chula Sukmanop, the EEC Office’s secretary-general, highlighted the need for increased investment and the incorporation of new technological advancements for medical examinations and treatments to guarantee sustainable medical services. Sukmanop’s statement was made during the two-day US-Thailand Healthcare Workshop, an event co-organised by the American Chamber of Commerce and the US Trade and Development Agency.

The workshop, which concluded on April 4, was designed to foster the development of the healthcare industry in Thailand. Robert Godec, the US ambassador to Thailand, stated that the organising entities aim to assist American healthcare companies in expanding their investments within the region, with a particular focus on Thailand.

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The US currently holds the position of the third-largest investor within the EEC in terms of value. The total investment from American entrepreneurs across all industries amounts to 44 billion baht, as stated by Chula.

“We are preparing to offer investment incentive packages to attract new investors, especially in the medical and healthcare industry.”

Several US healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, including Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, and Organon, have already invested in Thailand. Organon (Thailand), which commenced operations in 2021, specialises in the production of medical products for women, including reproductive medicine.

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation reported in 2020 that Thai girls typically begin menstruating at the age of 11, with the youngest recorded age being seven.

This data was derived from a survey conducted by the foundation in collaboration with Thammasat and Chulalongkorn universities, covering 8,161 samples from 95 schools. The results have raised concerns regarding precocious puberty and its association with health issues, particularly those related to reproductive health, reported Bangkok Post.

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