Thailand Healthcare: Medical tourism in Bangkok and Phuket - Page 2
Published: November 18, 2011 at 10:51 am
What about the quality of treatment?
Doctors and surgeons are internationally trained and speak your language. The technology available to them is state-of-the art and often better than that available in Europe or the U.S.A. For example, at Bangkok-Phuket Hospital's heart clinic stem cell therapy is already part of the standard tool kit for treating battered hearts that might otherwise need a transplant."Most of the patients have been ill for a long time," the clinic's director, Dr. Kit Arom, said in a recent interview. "By the time they come here, they are all but incapacitated. They are waiting for a transplant or waiting to die. After receiving stem-cell injections straight into cardiac muscle tissue, a treatment too controversial to be offered yet in the United States, most patients recovered enough to leave under their own power."
Hospitals such as Bangkok-Phuket and Bumrungrad have been encouraging Thai doctors who have trained abroad to return home.Patients at these two hospitals are now 60% foreign, a number which continues to climb. Toral, marketing Director at Bumrungrad said in a recent interview; "We were a Thai hospital serving a Thai community. Now we're an international hospital that just happens to be in Thailand."
What does the future hold for medical tourism in Thailand?
In the West we have an aging society. Annual healthcare spending in the U.S.A. accounts for a staggering 15% of GDP. This figure is likely to keep climbing as the population ages. The Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions has predicted that the number of Americans travelling abroad for healthcare is expected to reach 15.75 million by 2017. With savings of up to 90% over medical costs in the U.S., it is not hard to see why people chose to make the trip.
Bumrungrad Hospital has become one of the world's leading centres for medical tourism. It has contracts with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Dubai who send thousands of individuals for treatment to Bangkok every year. And medical centres such as Bangkok-Phuket Hospital and Phuket International Hospital are following closely in their footsteps.
Of course, travelling overseas for medical treatment is not for everyone and many people would still prefer to be treated closer to home than board a long-haul flight. However, for treatments which are not covered by the health service or your insurer, treatment in Thailand is a cost effective alternative.
Thailand is already a major player in this growing market and expects to increase its share in the years to come.