Private hospitals have experienced thriving growth for many years because of increasing domestic patients and their higher purchasing power. Moreover, foreign patients using medical services in Thailand have also increased respectively, and there is a projection that in 2007 they will reach a total of around 1.54 million, creating income to the country of around THB40 billion per annum. It is also forecast that the number of foreign patients will reach 2 million by 2010. However, at present private hospital business begins to face high competition in Bangkok where the populace's purchasing power is higher than in other regions. In addition, the substantial number of foreign patients has driven private hospitals to expand business rather extensively. This factor has pushed entrepreneurs in private hospital business to seek new business channels and opportunities, e.g., in outlying communities of provinces where the marketing potential deserves a close watch because there are still only a relatively small number of hospitals and patient beds there. Provinces with connecting borders with neighboring countries can support high-income earner neighbors, including foreigners living or working in those countries crossing the border to get medical treatments in Thai private hospitals because the standards of treatment are widely recognized. Other interesting locations would be at Thailand's key tourism venues such as Phuket, Samui, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Pra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, which also represent good marketing opportunities.
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