Medical tourism at TTM


BANGKOK, 4 June 2015: Bangkok Hospital Phuket promotes 10 specialty care centres at the Thailand Travel Mart Plus over the next two days in the hope that travel buyers will make referrals.

The hospital’s business development specialist, Boontarika Kongpunya, told TTR Weekly that centres include: Colorectal Disease Institute and Advanced Cardiac Imaging Centre; Tertiary Care Centres for Bones and Joints; Institute of Cosmetic Surgery; Dental Centre; and an Oncology Centre.

There are three more centres for the modern medical care: Phuket Fertility Centre: Eye Centre (Bright View Centre): and Neurology Centre.

“Bangkok Hospital Phuket focuses on overseas visitors for 33% and Thais for 67%,” she added.

inside no 1“Many visitors come to Phuket and combine their holiday with the medical treatment of their choice,” she said.

That is fine for cosmetic or routine medical check-ups, but not relevant to those who are seriously ill, or require major surgery. It’s an illusion to believe they would combine treating a life threatening disease with an opportunity to enjoy a holiday.

But it is a popular statement by medical tourism sales teams that bears no serious scrutiny, although they will argue that post-treatment stays are often a choice, if follow-up checks are required.

Phuket’s private hospitals have also been singled out for criticism for over charging and again the idea that Thailand is a medical bargain is often described as a marketing myth.

It is even questionable that mainstream travel buyers, who attend TTM are in a position to sell medical packages. It requires very specialised people to reach out and sell medical packages and most of the work is being undertaken directly between hospital representatives and potential customers.

Medical tourism is one of the products that is in the spotlight during TTM, so the hospital is presenting packages that might catch the attention of a tour operator prepared to sell medical tourism.

From the group’s Bangkok-Phuket Colorectal Disease Institute a colonoscopy package costs THB12,700 for colorectal cancer screening. The price is valid until 31 December.

Bright View Centre: Refractive Lens Exchange surgery (RLE): costs THB75,000 per eye. A type of lens will be confirmed upon examination and consultation with ophthalmologist. There will be a pre-operative test including eye workup, a blood test at THB6,000, not included in the surgery price above. Special promotion is valid until 31 October.

Phuket Fertility Centre: pre-pregnancy check-up packages, THB7,200 for female and THB4,400 for male, and In Vitro Fertilisation Package (IVF) at THB279,000. Price valid until 31 December.

She said: “Since Thailand Travel Mart is a renowned event there are many buyers from around the world… it is a great opportunity to expand our service to tour operators.”

Bangkok Hospital Phuket is part of the fastest-growing Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS) group that claims to be the second largest hospital network in Asia-Pacific.

The hospital delivers world-class tertiary care across comprehensive sub-specialties: cardiology, orthopaedic, ophthalmology, oncology, gynaecology/obstetrics, colorectal disease, etc.

It treats around 80,000 to 90,000 foreigners a year.