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4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket

Maya Taylor



Mai Khao beach in north Phuket. PHOTO:

Phuket officials are setting aside around 4 billion baht to transform medical tourism in the southern province of Phuket, by developing a state-of-the-art treatment hub in the north of the island. The Bangkok Post reports that the Treasury department is planning to give the Public Health Ministry permission to use 141 rai of government land in the sub-district of Mai Khao, close to Phuket International Airport. It’s not the first time the proposal has come to light.

The concept is gathering support as Phuket battles to diversify its attraction beyond a tropical holiday island.

The aim is to develop Phuket as a world-class health and wellness destination, with facilities that will attract medical tourists from all over the world, as well as providing a high standard of treatment to the local population. It’s understood the facility will provide a full range of health services, including long-term care, and hospice and rehabilitation services.

The island already has a well-developed medical tourism market, but has been based around local hospitals and clinics linking up with foreign marketing companies in the past. “The International Medical and Public Health Service” has been conceived to create more long term financial security and diversification, and value-added tourism in Phuket, as the island has taken a heavy financial hit over the past 7 months.

4 billion baht medical hub planned for Phuket | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

The plan was first suggested in 2017, by then governor, Noraphat Plodthong and confirmed by the director of Phuket’s Vachira Hospital, Dr. Chalermpong Sukontapol, in July. At that stage, the estimated budget was 3-4 billion baht. The director-general of the Treasury department, Yuthana Yimkarun, says the plot is being offered to the Health Ministry for free. The land is thought be worth around 1 billion baht.

Yuthana says the ministry will manage investment, with approximately 2 billion baht required for the first stage of the project. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed over 2 years.

Meanwhile, it’s understood that unused government land that is currently managed by various government agencies may be moved under the remit of central government, with a view to increasing its worth. According to the Bangkok Post report, just 4% of government land is directly managed by the Treasury. The other 96% is controlled by various government agencies. Yuthana says the plan is to increase the percentage of state-owned land under the Treasury’s management to 10% within 2 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 11:23 am

    I have ben reading that India is cheaper and just as good.
    Malaysia is as cheap.
    Turkey is good and cheap.
    Rumania, is cheap, good, and for EU citizens, not far to travel.
    I had a friend that was admitted to hospital in Pattaya. He had no surgery, and they charged him $800 a day. He had insurance.
    If that is what they intend to charge in Phuket, medical tourism will not be popular there.

  2. Avatar


    Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Two years ago I was sick in the UK, I had to have all sorts of scans, saw three consultants who were expert doctors in their fields, had five separate sets of blood tests and all sorts of tests.

    Three hospitals involved.

    The tests were over a period of five months, the cost? ………Nothing.

    Earlier this year in Phuket I had problems with my eyes, I had a few tests in a hospital, a brain scan, in total I was probably at the hospital for 5 hours over the course of a few weeks as an outpatient only, I did not stay overnight in the hospital.

    The cost was equivalent to $4500 which was about 144,000 baht.

    Not cheap, so I am not sure which countries the medical tourists will come from who want to pay so much?

    I am glad I had $7,000,000 of medical insurance covered by a UK insurer. (cost of insurance policy $200).

    Never travel abroad unless you are insured is my mantra.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, October 23, 2020 at 2:31 am

      … and in England anyone not usually resident (even a Brit) would have been charged 150% of the cost.

      … and in Thailand any Thais needing the treatment you had in the UK or Thailand would have been charged 30 baht / $1.oo.

      Medical tourists pay wherever they go – Thailand, India, Turkey, UK … anywhere.

      • Avatar

        preesy chepuce

        Monday, October 26, 2020 at 7:39 pm

        The UK health system isn’t really very sustainable as it is, but it’s been hyped up into a national religion where criticism is taboo and that protects it from necessary reform. There are too many regular or excessive users funded by very, very occasional users, and example of this is the lack of charging of drunks clogging up A&E; allowing fashionable conditions like sex changes to be funded publicly; and the lack of penalties for not following medical advice, like Mr Best getting more than one new liver. The mantra of “free at the point of need” to some people is a blank cheque to take the health care for granted and overuse it without taking responsibility. In the UK they always talk about “the government’s money”, or occasionally “the taxpayer’s money”, but let’s be clear, when you get something from the state, it’s someone else’s money paying for it. So when we hear Labour politicians talking about how the Government must fund more furlough etc…, they never seem to acknowledge that that “furlough” is not from Labour’s magic money tree, but it’s from every worker in the UK, and from the future workers, who may already be saddled by student loan tax, and priced out of a mortgage. I don’t see how the NHS religion can carry on, people should be given core life and death treatment like cancer and genetic conditions (and that doesn’t include “gender dysphoria”, but something real like blindness or MS), but gastric bands and stomach pumps should be conditional, and pay less for looking after their health, like a no-claims bonus. Only unreasonable Labourists would reject that.

  3. Avatar

    albert zweistein

    Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Want to see world-class health and wellness ? Go Turkey. Government same like LOL.

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 2:41 am

    … and Thailand’s the number one choice for gender re-assignment surgery, which is set to be worth over $1.5 bn globally in the next 5 years.

    I doubt many would prefer Iran, which is runner-up to Thailand …..

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Monday, October 26, 2020 at 7:41 pm

      That’s a bit surprising to hear, given what reportedly happens to catamites in that country.

  5. Avatar


    Friday, October 23, 2020 at 11:00 am

    As long as the Thai high-price- treatments will continue on the same level, only a few foreigners will come to Thailand for a Medical Treatment. I suffered an accident last year and spent a night in a Pattaya Thai Hospital, just for surveillance, without any surgery or life-preserving measures or medications.
    For just 1 night my insurance payed the costs of about 1’500 usd (!).
    There are many other countries who offer Medical Treatment to a Western quality standard but a much cheaper price.

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Monday, October 26, 2020 at 7:43 pm

      I’ve seen (for example) dental treatment advertised in places like Czechland and Hungary, and given that they’re in the EU, they are possibly in a good position to compete with anyone, assuming that their health regulation is compliant with that of other EU states like France and Germany.

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