Medical Tourism in Thailand
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Medical Tourism in Thailand

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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. The 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 favored.


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).
  • The US continues to supply the 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
  • The 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:



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 that 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


Bumrungrad Hospital, Bangkok - Bumrungrad means ‘to care for the populace’ or ‘to nurture the people.’ It is known as a “one-stop” center for medical services, particularly for surgical procedures. The hospital has 580 beds and 63 extra beds in the ICU. It also has 47 specialty centers and clinics, as well as more than 1,300 doctors and around 4,800 support professionals that represent practically all specialties and sub-specialties of medicine. Most of the doctors have received international board accreditations from various countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and other developed countries known for high-quality healthcare systems and standards. The expertise of the hospital’s medical team allows for better treatments and results for each patient through more than seventy subspecialties. There is a wide range of treatments and procedures, including allergology, bariatric surgery, cardiology, collateral medicine, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, general surgery, immunology, and many more.

Bumrungrad is a pioneer in medical technology and groundbreaking patient services. Today, the hospital has expanded many of its departments to offer the best treatments, such as the Precision Medicine department. The hospital now provides cancer treatments that can be personalized according to the patient’s needs and adapted high-tech therapies from Europe and the US. To maintain its position as the leader in innovative medical technology, it was the world’s first IBM Watson for Oncology site.

Established on 17 September 1980, Bumrungrad International Hospital has now become Southeast Asia’s largest private hospital. The hospital is accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), in fact, it was the first JCI-accredited hospital in Asia. In 2017, it became to be the first hospital in Asia to be certified by the DNV GL MIR for Infection Risk. It is also the first non-United States hospital to receive Global Healthcare Accreditation with Excellence designation from GHA. In addition, it is accredited by Hospital Accreditation of Thailand. Bumrungrad Hospital is recognized as a leading medical tourism destination. It treated over 1.1 million patients in 2018, with more than 520,000 patients who were international patients, from over 190 different countries.

Brumrungrad International Hospital Bangkok


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-story 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:






Coronary Angioplasty




Heart Bypass




Hip Replacement




Gastric Bypass












Dental Implant




Breast Augmentation







Tourism Authority of Thailand

Thailand Ministry of Health

International Medical Travel Journal