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14 Jan 2005


Private Hospitals, 2005: Still Growing, Undeterred by Economy


Private hospital business in 2005 is set to continue its growth further from last year despite ebbing purchasing power due to economic sluggishness, affected by swings in oil prices. Rising operating costs have induced some private hospitals to lift medical fees. However, private hospitals are still expected to benefit from visits of high-income patients and employees receiving medical benefits from their employers. Additionally, foreign nationals from Europe, the US, Japan, the Middle East, South Asia and ASEAN countries, etc., are also very interested in using the services at Thai private hospitals, thanks to their quality medical treatment at low prices in comparison to those experienced in their home countries. Medical expenses charged by Thai private hospitals are also lower than those of rivals, e.g., Hong Kong and Singapore. Under these circumstances, the number of overseas patients using services at Thai private hospitals has been rising steadily. In 2005, the number of foreign patients using Thai private hospitals is expected to reach some 1.28 million persons, generating income to this business of around Bt33 billion.