Medical Tourism in Thailand

With 64 JCI-accredited facilities and hundreds of other private hospitals, clinics and dental clinics, Thailand is the new regional powerhouse. Medical tourism costs are some of the lowest in South East Asia, particularly when compared to Singapore and Malaysia. According to the IMTJ, medical tourism statistics suggest Thailand is now the joint-third biggest for revenue, behind the US and South Korea.

On top of the accelerated speed at which the Thai hospitals have advanced over the last 20 years, the main reasons why Thailand is such a dominating force, not just regionally, but globally, are:

1. High quality of treatment, service and standards, with many hospitals being described as 5-star facilities.

2. The relatively low cost of treatment.

3. Premium tourist destination, with its reputation as a must-see destination – medical vacations to Thailand are highly favoured.

 

A Detailed Look at 2018 Trends

 

Thailand Medical Tourism, 2018

 

Medical Tourism Statistics

True statistics are difficult to gauge due to the overlap of Health, Wellness and Medical Tourism, multiple visits being counted and expats being counted as medical tourists. Asia and the Middle East represent the main source of international patients.

Medical Tourism Thailand Statistics 2018

  • Foreign patients expected to total 3.42m visits to Thai hospitals, of which 2.5m will be medical tourists and 920k expats (not allowing for multiple visits).
  • US continues to supply majority of medical tourists.

Medical Tourism Thailand Statistics 2017

  • Foreign patients made 3.3m hospital visits in Thailand, of which 2.4m were dedicated medical tourists and 900k were expats.
  • Breakdown of foreign patients by country / region to attend Thai private medical facilities:
    • 12.5% Middle East
    • 8.2% Myanmar
    • 6.2% US
    • 5% UK
    • 4.9% Japan
    • 2.2% Cambodia
    • 61% Other
  • Most popular destination for medical tourists from the UAE is Thailand, with 31.5% of the volume, amounting to an estimated 20k patients.
  • Estimated that the two major hospital groups, Bumrungrad and Bangkok Hospital Group took 48% of the total revenue.

 

Popular Procedures

Thailand’s medical tourism centers around plastic surgery and dental treatments, with medical procedures on the increase. Whilst Cosmetic Tourism has always been the primary focus of global medical tourism, more and more people are traveling to Thailand for tertiary care or to have major operations, like a heart bypass, mastectomy or general cancer treatments.

Some of the most popular treatments by category are as follows:

Cosmetic / Plastic Surgeries:

Dental Procedures:

Medical Procedures:

Other:

 

Popular Medical Facilities

As the domination of hospitals like Bumrungrad and the Bangkok Hospital Group begins to subside, other, much cheaper alternatives begin to increase their share of the hundreds of thousands of medical tourists each year.

The following are the most popular alternative private facilities foreigners and domestic patients will visit:

 

Sikarin Hospital, Bangkok - Established in 1993, Sikarin Hospital truly values maintaining trust with the public, which is why they operate with such integrity and professionalism. They offer a wide range of tertiary care and cosmetic surgeries and are proud to have achieved JCI accreditation in 2012.

The hospital houses over 240 beds and offers full in-patient and out-patient services. On top of their JCI accreditation, the hospital is also ISO:9001 certified and locally certified by the Hospital Accreditation of Thailand.

Situated on the Eastern side of Bangkok, the hospital is just a short taxi ride from the airport - a service which they offer to all medical tourism patients. With their dedicated International Patients Department, hotel style rooms and suites with VIP options, the Sikarin hospital truly caters towards the medical tourist.

Sikarin Hospital for Medical Tourism in Bangkok, Thailand

 

Bangpakok9 International Hospital, Bangkok - Founded by Dr. Chareong Chandrakamol and Associate Professor Bidhya Chandrakamol back in 2003, the Bangpakok 9 International Hospital is now one of the most well-known and respected hospitals in Bangkok. Operating as part of the Bangpakok Hospital Group (BPK) Hospital Group, the facility in South-Western Bangkok is about a 45 minute drive from the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Having achieved JCI accreditation back in 2013, this multi-disciplinary hospital offers a range of medical, cosmetic and dental procedures and specializes in neurology, cardiology and orthopaedics. The hospital has hundreds of medical staff, including more than 150 locally and internationally trained doctors serving patients across 500+ beds. There are even hotel-style rooms and suites available on the upper floors of the hospital for patients and their family members who wish to stay onsite.

Bangpakok9 International Hospital for Medical Tourism in Bangkok, Thailand

 

KTOP Clinic, Bangkok - Experience true Korean beauty at the brand new KTop Clinic facility. All surgeons have experience working in the best plastic surgery centers across Korea. With the aim of delivering the best of art and science, KTop surgeons utilize their training and skills alongside state-of-the-art equipment, offering a range of services, including facial contouring, rhinoplasty, liposuction, fat contouring and breast augmentation.

The clinic hosts a dedicated International Patient Office, which sees many thousands of medical tourists every year - its reputation speaks for itself, as the number one place for Korean style plastic surgery outside of Korea. The KTop team will assist with medical record translations and interpreter services and unlike most other clinics and hospitals, they offer video consultations prior to travel.

Located in the heart of Thailand, the clinic is just a 30-40 minute taxi ride from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, with countless hotels, bars and restaurants on its doorstep. They even offer all-inclusive packages with their partner hotels.

KTOP Clinic for Medical Tourism in Bangkok, Thailand

 

Phuket Plastic Surgery Institute (PPSI), Phuket - one of Phuket's finest cosmetic surgery facilities, the result of the merger of Phuket International Aesthetic Center (PIAC) and Bangkok Phuket Institute of Cosmetic Surgery (BPICS). Both facilities were pioneers of the local medical tourism industry, with each being in operation for over ten years.

Recently coming under the administration of the Bangkok Hospital Group (BDMS - third largest hospital group in the World), PPSI offers quality and affordable plastic surgery procedures to many thousands of medical tourists from across the globe. With plans to move into their new six storey building in Phuket City, the facility will further accommodate patients with the surrounding shopping malls and restaurants.

With their vision; Always one step ahead, PPSI offers the best plastic surgeons, state-of-the-art equipment, ultra-modern facilities and constant awareness of patient safety. And all the while, promising the best client experience starting from pre-travel communication and airport pickup, through to the operation and post-op / follow up.

Phuket Plastic Surgery Institute (PPSI) for Medical Tourism in Phuket, Thailand

 

Cost of Treatments in Thailand

 

Prices can vary greatly across the different facilities, even across different cities / regions, with Bangkok usually being the cheapest, given the high competition among medical facilities. Below is an average cost breakdown of 8 common procedures when compared to the biggest medical tourism destination in the world, the US and Thailand’s most developed local competing nation, Singapore:

 

Procedure

US

Singapore

Thailand

Coronary Angioplasty

$28,200

$13,500

$4,200

Heart Bypass

$123,000

$17,200

$15,000

Hip Replacement

$40,300

$12,000

$17,000

Gastric Bypass

$25,000

$13,700

$16,800

Hysterectomy

$15,400

$10,400

$3,650

LASIK

$4,000

$3,800

$2,310

Dental Implant

$2,500

$2,700

$1,720

Breast Augmentation

$6,400

$8,400

$3,500

 

 

Sources

Tourism Authority of Thailand

Thailand Ministry of Health

International Medical Travel Journal