by Darren Lyons
It continues to be another busy year for Thailand’s private hospitals, clinics and dental facilities, with the seemingly endless arrival of international patients from across the globe. Whilst the volume begins to subside a little as the year comes to a close, the team at MyMediTravel put together their analysis from a sample of 1,000 of their English-speaking, non-Thai based customers and made some interesting discoveries.
It’s no surprise that the Aussies make up nearly a fifth of all arrivals, given its relative proximity to Thailand, but what is surprising is that Americans make up the largest group at 20% – the country with by far the biggest medical tourism market in the world! Our neighbour, Singapore, understandably provides 10% of arrivals – Thailand is much cheaper after all and a 1.5-hour long flight can cost as little as 2,500 THB, return. It is worth noting that Chinese and other non-English speaking medical tourists have not been included in this survey, as they tend to travel with a local facilitator who can provide around the clock assistance.
Almost two-thirds opt for a medical facility in Bangkok, most likely due to the abundant supply of competing facilities who bring the prices down when compared to the other cities and regions. Heavily weighted in favour of females, no wonder given that the second most popular procedure is Breast Augmentation! But notice the ‘very-2018’ addition of a third gender, Trans. Gender is no longer a binary option, with 3% identifying themselves as neither male or female.
CoolSculpting, ever heard of it? Click the link for more information, but in a nutshell, it’s a non-invasive alternative to liposuction where the fat cells are frozen and slowly die off, with the body excreting them naturally over the following weeks. The procedure is ideal for those who have smaller more stubborn fat in areas like the ‘muffin top’ or the ‘love handles’. The rest of the top-10 procedures are mostly different types of cosmetic surgery with, of course, Gender Reassignment and also the Hair Transplant among them.
Finally, analysing the popular facilities, we see the undisputed champion of Thai medical facilities, Bumrungrad at the top, with the Sikarin Hospital not far behind – offering almost as many procedures and services, but at a fraction of the cost. KTOP Clinic and Yanhee Hospital are fast gaining a reputation for being up with the best cosmetic surgery facilities in the region.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.