Medical travel complications insurance launched for Thailand

 Episodes Medical Travel Insurance offers travellers protection against certain risks of surgery along with safeguards against medical emergencies, lost luggage and trip delays. It can be bought online or on arrival in Thailand. There are two parts to the cover, travel insurance and treatment insurance. LMG Insurance and Liberty International Insurance underwrite the cover, and the in-country assistance is by Mondial Assistance (Thailand).

Episodes is two policies, one is travel insurance and the other is cover for complications. Bumrungrad International, Bangkok Hospital, Medical Travel Quality Alliance and Mondial helped with the development. It is not the first global insurance covering the two areas, but is the only one tailored to a specific country destination.

It covers medical tourists for complications of surgery and anaesthesia, cardiopulmonary events or post-operative complications that may occur during an episode of care even after they return home. Medical tourists may buy only complications insurance or complete medical travel coverage.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is projecting that the healthcare sector will earn $11.5bn by 2014, contributing much to the government target of becoming a world-class healthcare destination by 2014.

Since 2008 Thailand has promoted a holistic collection of curative medical treatment plus preventive spa and wellness services. The earning expectations for medical treatment are $8 billion, $2.23 billion for spa and wellness services, and $1.3billion for sales of products and supplies.

Apichai Jearadisak of the Federation of Thai Spa Associations, says Thailand already leads the regional spa market,” With more than 1,200 registered spas, 400 of which are high-end luxury facilities, Thailand has a claim to call itself the spa capital of Asia. Thai spas are working to upgrade the standards of their services and products, as well as the hygienic standards in the spas themselves. Efforts are also being made to improve the quality of their communications and marketing.”

Dr Prapa Wongphaet of the Thailand Medical Tourism Cluster says, “There are more than 30 international accredited hospitals in Bangkok and various tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket, Samui, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and elsewhere .The country can offer a complete combination of advanced medical treatment and other health related services. More than 200 private and public hospitals have received the hospital accreditation certificate issued by the Healthcare Accreditation Institute.”

Since 2010, the Thailand Medical Tourism Cluster concept has involved the collaboration of five government agencies and five leading business associations to support all aspects of medical and health and wellness tourism to Thailand.