Phuket medicine goes to the Gold Coast

Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: More than 150 people are expected to be on hand tomorrow at a Phuket medical tourism initiative on Australia’s Gold Coast. Among them will be Phuket’s internationally recognized cosmetic surgeon Dr Sanguan Kunaporn and director Peter Davidson of Phuket International Hospital, where Dr Sanguan performs his services.

The Gold Coast Bulletin reports this morning that the duo will bring Phuket cosmetic surgery and dental services to the forefront as speakers at the launch of CosMediTours, a Gold Coast based company focused on medical tourism specifically to Phuket.

Also on hand at the event will be Gold Coast resident and personal trainer Anna Reesby who will be visiting Phuket soon for cosmetic surgery and dental work. The 26-year-old suffered a blow to the nose 10 years ago in a netball game and has since had respiratory problems.

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By having the work done in Phuket, she says, the cost will be about one quarter of what she would need to pay in Australia, and she will have a holiday at the same time.

CosMediTours, run by Gold Coast business partners Christyna Kruczaj and Greg Lemon, takes groups from Queensland directly to Phuket where, Kruczaj says, there are “world-class medical facilities and patients recover in five-star resorts.”

“Australians, especially Queenslanders from the Gold and Sunshine coasts, are leading the drive for medical tourism in Thailand,” said Mr Davidson.

The Gold Coast/Phuket initiative takes place at The Sofitel Broadbeach, Queensland.

Economy holding up

Thailand’s economic growth this year will be resilient despite the worst riots in modern Thai history and political uncertainties ahead, the government said as its battle-scarred capital re-opened for business yesterday.

The state planning agency said the 2010 growth forecast was being maintained at 3.5-4.5 percent.

The forecast would have been 1.5 percent higher if not for the two-month protest in central Bangkok that paralysed business, decimated the vital tourism industry, and depressed consumer spending, the agency said.

Thailand’s $264 billion economy grew 12 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from a year earlier, its best rate in 15 years, beating the consensus of 8.9 percent due to a surge in exports and a low base last year.

But the crisis has not been fully resolved and the red shirt protesters say they plan to resume their campaign for new elections next month.

Investors wait and see

Market Watch
In Thailand, where weeks of street protests in Bangkok against the government have just ended, investors are wary about the impact on the Thai economy.

Thai shares were 2.5% lower in late trading yesterday, shrugging off better-than-expected data on first-quarter gross domestic product as the market had its first opportunity to react to the culmination of violent political unrest seen last week, which forced the bourse to suspend trading activity.

“There’ll be consequent losses to follow. Investors are pricing in how much the damage would affect each listed company,” said Charoen Iamphattanatham, first vice president of KT Zmico Securities.”

No-confidence motion against PM

Earth Times
Thailand’s parliamentary opposition submitted a no-confidence motion against the government yesterday for its suppression of the protests that left at least 85 dead.

The Puea Thai Party submitted the motion to Government House Speakers, who have seven days to study it.

The red shirts are an extension of the Puea Thai Party, whose de facto leader is fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Meanwhile, various shops in Bangkok’s Siam Square reopened yesterday, and Ratchaprasong and Rajadmari streets were open to traffic.

But hotels such as the Intercontinental and Hyatt Erawan were still closed to business, and the Zen Trade Centre, a target of the arsonists, will be closed for weeks.

The capital’s two mass transit systems resumed operations on Sunday.

Travel Mart postponed after all

In a sudden U-turn, the Tourism Authority of Thailand announced on Friday that it has “postponed” the Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2010, scheduled for June 2-4, due to mass cancellations by hosted buyers. It has not, so far, announced replacement dates.

Up until last Friday, all the associations and the TAT had been insisting that the show would go on, despite company executives expressing their concerns that an impending military crackdown would make it difficult to attract buyers.

TAT directors met late last Friday when it became obvious that many of the 350 invited buyers would cancel.

It is not known how many Phuket companies had planned to particapate in the event.

— Gazette Editors

Phuket News

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