Thailand broadens treatments for medical tourists

According to The Nation, Thailand is broadening its health offer from cheaper treatments like cosmetic surgery and dental care, to IVF, rehabilitation as well as holistic wellness programmes tailored for the greying population.

The article in the Nation states that Thailand is redesigning its healthcare programmes to meet the ever-increasing demands of medical tourists.

It quotes Thapanee Kiatphaibool, executive director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s product promotion department, saying: “In Thailand, we’ve seen that regenerative and anti-ageing programmes, rehabilitation, in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and wellness centres are gaining in popularity. Our hospitals and health centres offer a diversity of affordable, quality treatments that cost customers 50-70% less than the rates in the US. Most medical tourists are professionals like entrepreneurs, lawyers and doctors aged between 35 to 45. They come through word-of-mouth recommendations, while some choose to consult a health-related travel agency or the Thai Embassy and also visit the hospitals’ websites. And of course they use social media to search for information rather than believe in advertorial reviews”.

Chiang Mai has several luxury rehabilitation resorts, among them The Cabin, which offers specially tailored treatment programmes for general addiction, youngsters, LGBT and women.

“We have already welcomed some 2,000 customers, 70% male and 30% female, aged from 16 to 60. They mostly came from Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the UK, Netherlands, Denmark and United Arab Emirates as well as from the expatriate community in Thailand. The top three addictions are methamphetamine, alcohol and marijuana,” said Reeya Chaicharas, PR manager of The Cabin Addiction Services Group.

Another addiction the resort has been increasingly treating in recent years is online gaming and in 2017, the resort designed the activity-based Edge programme for young people that includes muay thai and triathlon training to improve meditative skills and muscle tone.

Rehab and health centres have also opened in Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chiang Rai and Chantaburi.

TAT research has also shown that Chinese couples are actively seeking out the best IVF treatment programmes since China launched the second child policy. In Bangkok, Samitivej Hospital Sukhumvit is drawing European expats both resident in Thailand and living in Myanmar and Laos with its advanced technology and experienced experts in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Thailand’s anti-ageing and wellness treatment programmes have become popular with tourists from China, the UK, UAE, Singapore and India.

For a more detailed analysis of the medical travel sector in Thailand, visit the Thailand IMTJ Country Profile.