Thai-Saudi collaboration set to boost health and wellness tourism

Thai PM Srettha Thavisin with the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince in 2023. Image courtesy of Khaosod

Health and wellness tourism in Saudi Arabia is set to receive a boost as the Thai Public Health Ministry sets its sights on fostering collaborations in the sector. Simultaneously, the Labour Ministry is eyeing the opportunity to dispatch a greater number of skilled Thai workers to the Middle East nation.

Saudi Commerce Minister Majid bin Abdullah al-Kassabi was welcomed to the Public Health Ministry yesterday by Thai health officials, including Minister Somsak Thepsuthin and Permanent Secretary Dr Opas Karnkawinpong. They gathered to deliberate plans to strengthen their public health alliance.

Somsak, highlighting the mutual benefits of the collaboration, referenced the Thai government’s policy and Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s official visit to Saudi Arabia last October. He underlined that the visit demonstrated the potential for Thai entrepreneurs and Saudi Arabia’s private sector to establish medical partnerships.

During the visit, Somsak promoted Thailand as a global medical hub and announced that Saudi citizens, along with a maximum of four companions, would be permitted to travel to Thailand for medical treatment.

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He encouraged Saudi nationals to consider Thailand for its medical services, renowned for their comprehensiveness and affordability, opening doors for health tourism and as a holiday destination.

In a recent gesture of medical cooperation, Thailand dispatched 42 doctors to cater to the medical needs of over 7,000 Thai Muslims undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Al-Kassabi reciprocated the sentiment, acknowledging Thailand as a crucial ally. Saudi Arabia, he said, is keen on joint economic development and forging more partnerships in the future.

Currently, the country is focusing on advancements in public health, essential to human lives, and studying Thailand’s progress in the sector. He also mentioned that Saudi Arabia is considering allowing Thai investors to invest in its public health sector.

The Saudi minister also met with Labour Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn on Wednesday, discussing ways to nurture economic partnerships between the two countries, reported Khaosod.

Pipat expressed his aspiration to send more skilled Thai workers to various industries in Saudi Arabia, specifically the tourism and healthcare sectors. Al-Kassabi commended Thai workers for their international recognition.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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