Connect with us

Thai Life

Thailand, third biggest medical tourism destination in the world

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thailand, third biggest medical tourism destination in the world | The Thaiger

In the process of shrugging off its reputation for cheap back-alley plastic surgeries, Thailand is quickly catching up to South Korea as the world’s prime destination for cosmetic surgeries and treatments. Home to 64 JCI-accredited medical facilities – three times more than Singapore and 6 times more than Malaysia.

JCI is the industry standard in global healthcare, where facilities are benchmarked against US standards and practices. 

In an industry of massively over-inflated figures, it’s difficult to really gauge the size of the Global Medical Tourism market or even the Thai market. According to the TAT, a whopping 9% of Thailand’s 35 million annual visitors are ‘Medical Tourists’, but it’s believed this figure doesn’t account for tourists who happen to visit a medical facility during their stay and it doesn’t disregard multiple visits or expats.

A more honest assessment by the International Medical Travel Journal suggests the global market is worth around $13 billion, with Thailand being the joint third biggest beneficiary, taking $600 million in revenue each year.     

The top 25 medical travel destinations by value:

Thailand, third biggest medical tourism destination in the world | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: International Medical Travel Journal

But what is Medical Tourism and why is Thailand so popular? A loose definition of a Medical Tourist would be someone who travels to another country with the primary purpose of undertaking some form of medical, cosmetic or dental procedure. Common procedure types, include plastic surgery, dental procedures, tertiary medical care and fertility procedures.

It’s estimated that Thailand receives 350,000 dedicated Medical Tourists each year, spending an average of $1,700 in hospitals and clinics across the country, with Bangkok seeing the majority of this money. South Korea still leads the way, but for how much longer?

Darren Lyons of MyMediTravel, a Singapore based Medical Tourism information and referrals platform (best comparison being the ‘Booking.com’ of global Medical Tourism), states that half of their requests are for cosmetic procedures in Thailand. Darren explains:

“We work with hospitals and clinics in 43 countries across the world and yet 48% of all enquiries are for Thai facilities, with the vast majority of these being cosmetic procedures. Breast Augmentation procedures in Thailand are by far the most common, but other more ‘modern’ procedures are on the rise, for example CoolSculpting, the Brazilian Butt Lift and the Labiaplasty.”

We asked Darren why he thinks Thailand is such a popular choice for Medical Tourists:

“Reputation. Thailand invested so heavily over the last 20 years, it’s now reaping the benefits of having 60-plus gold standard facilities and hundreds of smaller but well-established clinics. And a huge amount of the surgeons are internationally trained with many years of experience.

“Gone are the days of everyone sniggering at Thailand for its botched plastic surgeries. Of course, there’ll always be ill-informed people who still say this, but with so much information and first-hand accounts and reviews available online, such ignorance is being disregarded now. 

“And cost is an important factor. Outside of the major hospitals, Thailand is so competitive, not just in the region, but globally.

“Other more affordable hospitals are quickly gaining ground, for example Sikarin Hospital and Bangpakok9 International Hospital. Smaller, more niche clinics like KTOP Clinic are gaining a reputation for the ‘Korean Style’ facial plastic surgeries, attracting patients who’d previously only ever considered South Korea as a viable destination.

“Finally, no waiting times. Prospective patients will say ‘I want my procedure done on this day’, and nine times out of ten, that’s when it’s booked in for. Failing that, it’ll be the following day.”

Darren went on to explain how emerging nations like Thailand were able to undercut hospitals in Western / developed countries, and it comes down to simple economics. Where the cost to build, run and maintain a multi-disciplinary hospital and pay the staff is much lower, and this huge saving is passed onto the consumer.

Price comparison of some popular procedures:

Thailand, third biggest medical tourism destination in the world | News by The Thaiger

STORY: Articles.MyMediTravel.com  


Are you considering a medical procedure abroad? With MyMediTravel you can research hospitals and doctors, choose a destination in Thailand or abroad, and book an appointment today.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Bangkok

More than 80 dance groups from around Thailand compete in “SHOW DC Dance Battle Revolution”

The Thaiger

Published

on

More than 80 dance groups from around Thailand compete in “SHOW DC Dance Battle Revolution” | The Thaiger

Dancers from all around Thailand took part in the recent SHOW DC Dance Battle Revolution 2018, which saw more than 80 dance groups going head-to-head for the inaugural championships crowns in three categories: B-Boy, Hip Hop and Cover Dance. Held at the popular shopping mall and entertainment mega-complex in Rama 9 area of Bangkok, prizes worth more than 100,000 baht were on offer.

“The inaugural event was a huge success. The passion and skill of all the dancers that took part in SHOW DC’s Dance Battle Revolution 2018 was exceptional and it was very tough for the judges to decide on the winners. Over three weekends of competition we saw dancers from all over the country come and battle for the title of Dance Battle Revolution Champion,” said Ms. Regina Loo, Chief Marketing & Merchandising Officer of SHOW DC.

Winners of the SHOW DC Dance Battle Revolution 2018 are…

B-Boy

More than 80 dance groups from around Thailand compete in “SHOW DC Dance Battle Revolution” | News by The Thaiger

1) Comatom                                    2) Asta Flow                                    3) Dot A

Hip Hop

More than 80 dance groups from around Thailand compete in “SHOW DC Dance Battle Revolution” | News by The Thaiger

1) I Feel the Hype                            2) Huiii                                        3) Ghost Industry

Cover Dance

More than 80 dance groups from around Thailand compete in “SHOW DC Dance Battle Revolution” | News by The Thaiger

1) Devotion                                    2) ABC                                            3) The Average

“In addition to being a leading shopping mall serving the community of Rama IX and surrounding areas, entertainment and music is part of the SHOW DC proposition and Dance Battle Revolution is one of our signature events.

Feedback from this first year has been excellent and we have already received a lot of interest from dancers and groups for next year. Dance Battle Revolution will be an annual event at SHOW DC and we will build on this year’s success to make 2019 even bigger and better,” added Ms. Loo.

About SHOW DC
SHOW DC is Thailand’s first retail and entertainment mega-complex. Situated on 43 rai (17 acres) of land in the Rama 9 area of Bangkok with over 180,000 sqm and a total investment of 9.5 billion baht (approx. US$ 300 million), SHOW DC opened in December 2016.

For more information click HERE.

Continue Reading

People

‘Big Joke’ is the ‘real deal’ according to Thai Rath

The Thaiger

Published

on

‘Big Joke’ is the ‘real deal’ according to Thai Rath | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Thai Rath

Thai Rath have published a feature on the closest person Thailand has to Batman (aka Maj-Gen Surachate Hakparn) or “Big Joke” as he’s affectionately know to the Thai media. He’s taken the role of Thailand’s poster-boy crime fighter.

He’s also recently been promoted to the top job at Thai Immigration.

The article says that Big Joke is the ‘real deal’ and his appointment will mean greater security for the country and better services to the wider public. They say that will include tourists and expatriates in Thailand.

Two weeks ago Maj-Gen Surachate Hakparn replaced the former Immigration Chief, Suthipong Wongpin, who took a sidewards step to become the head of the metropolitan police in Bangkok, a year before his retirement.

Surachate attracted the attention of the Thai government while working as deputy commander of the Thai Tourist Police.

His “One World One Team” vision emphasises teamwork and cooperation, not just within Thailand but internationally, according to the Thai Rath article.

Many have criticised “Big Joke” for being nothing more than a poster boy and ‘lackey’ of the elite but the Thai media is say this is ‘shallow thinking’. Surachate’s supporters point to his ‘modern methods’ in crime solving and dedication to stop corruption (which we note also appear to involve a lot of photos and media conferences parading the baddies in public).

“He is seen as new style of policeman the like of which Thailand has rarely if ever seen before”, reports Thai Rath.

Many illegal foreigners posing as tourists have already been rounded up, sent home and black-listed creating a fear of further crackdowns. But Surachate says he’s determined to root out illegals and criminals and protect the multi-billion dollar tourism industry.

“Ultimately bona fide tourists and expats will reap the benefit through greater security and improved service from immigration”.

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan its also calling for heightened security with an ‘international focus’.

Surachate believes in giving greater satisfaction to foreigners in Thailand as well as committing to coordination within Thai police departments and foreign agencies.

Critics say that many of those arrested are relatively small fry and that “No Tip” signs that have gone up at immigration entry points are merely paying lip service to the issue. But Thai Rath seem convinced that ‘Big Joke’ is the real deal and will make a true difference.

'Big Joke' is the 'real deal' according to Thai Rath | News by The Thaiger 'Big Joke' is the 'real deal' according to Thai Rath | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Thai Rath

Continue Reading

Phang Nga

Tour operators boycott visits to Similan and Surin islands to protest new restrictions

The Thaiger

Published

on

Tour operators boycott visits to Similan and Surin islands to protest new restrictions | The Thaiger

The tour operators have had enough of the winding back of tour boat operations and are now resorting to boycotting and ‘disrupting’ the tours in order to get their protests heard.

About 50 tour operators in Phuket and Phang nga say they’re suspending boat trips to Similan-Surin islands in the Andaman sea (off the coast of Phang-Nga) today and tomorrow to protest against the decision of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation to limit the number of visitors to the islands to 3,850 a day. The number also includes 525 scuba divers.

Thai PBS reports that the limitation of visitors comes into force today after the two main islands re-opened to tourists after several months of closure during the monsoon season.

Besides the limitation of visitors, overnight stay-overs are not permitted.

Tour operators met yesterday in Ban Tap Lamu in Thai Muang district of Phang nga to discuss the new restrictions which they say they oppose.

They say their objections are because the restrictions would affect their business and that they’ve already accepted advance bookings to tour the islands before the department issued its new restrictions.

They say they will take their tourists to other tourist attractions Monday and Tuesday this week while awaiting response from the department.

Tour operators have been notified of the reopening of the two islands for visitors and the restrictions and to get themselves prepared with their vessels being properly checked to ensure their sea worthiness and equipped with enough life vests for their passengers.

The PM’s Office Minister Kobsak Putrakul, who was in Phang nga over the weekend, received the tour operators’ complaint and promised to bring it to the attention of the department chief.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required

Trending