Medical tourism in Thailand: a cross-sectional study.


Noree, T; Hanefeld, J; Smith, R; (2016) Medical tourism in Thailand: a cross-sectional study. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 94 (1). pp. 30-6. ISSN 0042-9686 DOI: 10.2471/BLT.14.152165

[img] Text - Published Version
License:

Download (1168Kb)

Abstract

To investigate the magnitude and characteristics of medical tourism in Thailand and the impact of such tourism on the Thai health system and economy. In 2010, we checked the records of all visits to five private hospitals that are estimated to cover 63% of all foreign patients. We reviewed hospital records of foreign patients and obtained data on their countries of origin, diagnoses and interventions. We surveyed 293 medical tourists to collect demographic characteristics and information on their expenditure and travelling companions. To help understand the impact of medical tourism on the Thai health system, we also interviewed 15 hospital executives and 28 service providers from the private hospitals. We obtained 911 913 records of hospital visits, of which 324 906 came from 104 830 medical tourists. We estimated that there were 167 000 medical tourists in Thailand in 2010. Of the medical tourists who attended our study hospitals, 67 987 (64.8%) came from the eastern Mediterranean region or Asia and 109 509 (34%) of them were treated for simple and uncomplicated conditions - i.e. general check-ups and medical consultations. The mean self-reported non-medical expenditure was 2750 United States dollars. According to the hospital staff interviewed, medical tourism in 2010 brought benefits to - and apparently had no negative impacts on - the Thai health system and economy. We estimate that the total number of medical tourists visiting Thailand is about 10% of previous national government estimates of 1.2 million. Such tourists appear to bring economic benefits to Thailand and to have negligible effects on the health system. Abstract available from the publisher. Abstract available from the publisher. Abstract available from the publisher. Abstract available from the publisher. Abstract available from the publisher.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Research Centre: Anthropology, Politics and Policy Group (APPG)
PubMed ID: 26769994
Web of Science ID: 369878800012
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2534146

Statistics


Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads since deposit
161Downloads
120Hits
Accesses by country - last 12 months
Accesses by referrer - last 12 months
Impact and interest
Additional statistics for this record are available via IRStats2

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item