We at KResearch expect that income earned by private hospitals listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand during 2015 will exceed THB100 billion, up 10.0-15.0 percent YoY. The increase is attributable to their business expansion in Bangkok and other potential provinces to accommodate more patients, especially the international patient segment that is projected to increase over 10 percent p.a.
KResearch is of the view that international ‘medical tourists' and expatriate patients will play an important role in bolstering income at Thai private hospitals. We expect that the number of medical treatments provided to them by Thai private hospitals will reach perhaps 2.81 million during 2015, up 10.2 percent YoY. Our major international medical tourist markets include Myanmar, Japan, the Middle East and Europe, plus Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China that have also shown strong potential. Nevertheless, laggard economic recoveries in some European nations may inhibit many patients there from traveling abroad for medical treatments. However, it is possible that some may still travel to countries offering cheaper medical treatments, such as Thailand.
With regard to challenges confronting Thai private hospitals, given that medical service business here will thrive ahead, especially after AEC integration, entrepreneurs from Malaysia, Singapore and Japan have expressed keen interest towards investing here.
Their interest has forced many Thai private hospitals to fine-tune their strategies over recent years. An explicit adjustment is seen in the pursuit of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), aimed at broadening their customer base and gaining access to potential markets. They have also integrated related businesses, such as pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and even retail and travel businesses to facilitate friends and families of international patients.
Meanwhile, to maintain Thailand's medical service reputation amid steady investments in private medical businesses, private hospitals should place importance on medical care quality and standards - being our most important strengths. In addition, they should involve in ensuring a balanced allocation of medical personnel to meet the country's goals of becoming a medical hub and maintaining universal public health care for the people.
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