Connect with us


Australians warned off Phuket medical tourism

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Australians warned off Phuket medical tourism | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: The Australian Medical Association (AMA) yesterday urged people to be cautious after a Gold Coast business offered plastic surgery and dental holidays in Phuket. For background on the CosMediTour offer, see Tuesday’s Phuket NEWS Hound, here.

Although doctors within most countries would not normally call into question the practices or risk levels of each other’s services, such restraint may not apply internationally.

According to a Xinhua report late yesterday, the AMA says that holidays and surgery should not be mixed, and that the cost savings on surgery in Phuket “should be weighed up against increased risk and a lack of recourse should something go wrong.”

AMA Vice President Steve Hambleton told the Australian Associated Press that, “If you go overseas, you don’t have the sort of [doctor] registration systems that we have in this country, and we know that our training is excellent and our doctors’ standards are excellent.”

But CosMediTour Director Christyna Kruczaj says in defense that, “Thai accreditation is based on the U.S. system of plastic and reconstructive surgery.”

As for costs, she says that prices vary with surgery type and individual patient needs, but that packages would normally cost 20 to 40 percent less than having the equivalent procedure in Australia.

And she notes that patients only pay for an initial consultation, flights and accommodation before leaving Australia, leaving them able to opt out of their surgery in Phuket without financial penalty.

As is the case with Singapore and Malaysia, the provision of medical services for foreigners has become a major and rapidly growing industry in Thailand, with several of the country’s international hospitals reporting 40% or more of their annual patient intake coming from nationalities other than Thai.

Jet Asia to bring Koreans to Phuket

A newly registered airline, Jet Asia Airways, is planning a launch in July, inaugurating a service from Phuket to Seoul, and then Bangkok to Seoul two months later. Both routes will be served five times a week.

When asked about timing in the context of the country’s political crisis, the new airline’s management said they were confident they could launch on time and that the market from Korea would be strong enough to sustain services to Phuket.

To be profitable in the long-run, the airline will also have to serve the Thai outbound travel market, which is concentrated mainly in Bangkok. There are fewer opportunities in Phuket to build business on the outbound leg, meaning the sector will serve almost exclusively Korean tourists.

Phuket’s sister isles boast pristine sands

The Guardian
Despite the millions of tourists visiting Thailand each year, there are still islands untouched by mass tourism. The Guardian’s Gemma Bowes finds a perfect example right in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, less than an hour’s boat ride from Phuket.

Many Thai islands have allowed their pristine worlds to be eaten away by flash resorts, watersports and nightlife. Now you have to search a little bit harder to find footprint-free sand.

Phang Nga is home to ritzy Phuket in the west and busy Krabi to the east, but at its watery heart the sister islands of Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai pull in just a trickle of travellers, with a few basic beach-hut complexes, bars and cafes, and the odd barefoot-chic resort.

The primary air gateway to the islands of Phang-nga Bay is Phuket International Airport, and there are a number of scheduled ferry and private hire boat services ready to serve explorers from Phuket’s east coast.

Tourist target blasted

TTR Weekly
The Association of Thai Travel Agents’ honorary advisor, Apichart Sankary, has blasted Thailand’s revised tourist target for 2010. The slightly downgraded figure of 14.1 million was affirmed last week by Tourism and Sports Minister Chumphol Silpa-archa.

“This is only the minister’s dream”, Mr Sankary said. “It is not the reality we all recognise in the business. If we can reach 10 million, we will be lucky.”

Meanwhile, tourism stakeholders agree Thailand must restore confidence in the international arena before kicking off any promotional campaigns.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Suraphon Svetasreni says the priority is to restore confidence in Asian markets before advertising campaigns can be initiated.

“We have to restore confidence in Asian markets such as China, Korea, Hong Kong and Japan because these markets can recover quickly. Then we have to move to medium and long-haul markets to regain the business in time for the high season.”

Under the banner ‘Together We Can’, government officials and private sector businesses have agreed to brainstorm marketing strategies to rebuild confidence, although no specific dates, meetings or action steps have yet been announced.

Car sales booming

Earth Times
Automobile sales in Thailand surged almost 44 per cent last month, despite extreme political unrest in the capital city, industry sources said yesterday.

In April, some 57,128 vehicles were sold on the domestic market, up 43.9 per cent year-on-year, but down 9.42 per cent compared with March, Thai Auto Industry Club spokesman Surapol Paisitpattanapong said.

Thailand’s automobile exports in April hit 57,139 units, up 99.35 per cent year-on-year.

In the first four months of the year, 223,930 vehicles were sold on the domestic market, up 51.8 per cent, while 273,824 units were exported, up 63.5 per cent, Surapol said.

— Gazette Editors


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs3 hours ago

Police nab 600kg heroin drug bust, year’s biggest in Northeast

Koh Samui6 hours ago

Koh Samui unaccustomed to Covid-19, many act in dismay

Thailand8 hours ago

Bangkok Airways extends flight suspension to August 11

Sponsored2 days ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand9 hours ago

7 Jomtien Beach curfew breakers arrested

Thailand9 hours ago

Buri Ram pig stable converted into gambling den: 22 arrests follow

Thailand10 hours ago

“Fake news” banned, Thai media say order infringes on freedoms

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket10 hours ago

Precarious Phuket: open internationally, closed domestically

Best of11 hours ago

Top 5 tattoo parlours Bangkok

World11 hours ago

Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila

Best of11 hours ago

The Best Pizza in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | worker camp woes, ‘fake news’ crackdown | July 30

Best of11 hours ago

Best Premium Hotel Buffets in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

CCSA considers extending restrictions in “dark red” zones for another 14 days

Thailand12 hours ago

Fake dead bodies used in Phuket protest, police plan real investigation

Best of12 hours ago

Top 5 adventure tours in Chiang Mai

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8