KResearch projects that the revenue of private hospitals in 2021 will grow 11.8 percent YoY, as opposed to 2020 which saw a contraction of 12.5 percent. Such recovery can partly be attributed to the low base of the previous year while revenue remains below pre-COVID-19 levels. Most of private hospitals' revenue comes from domestic patients seeking COVID-19 testing and treatment, including expats who are gradually returning to receive available health services. While the country's reopening is scheduled for the final quarter of 2021, the Thai medical tourism market for the entire 2021 will likely see a contraction in revenue.
Looking towards 2022 and beyond, KResearch perceives that the revenue of private hospitals should be on the rise, but any return to normalcy or pre-pandemic levels will depend upon the number of medical tourists. An important factor that could help to boost this number is the policies being implemented in many countries to accelerate economic recovery. However, the degree of any such recovery will depend on the number of daily COVID-19 cases and the severity of the outbreak in the near future that still merits close watch. Moreover, private hospitals still face numerous challenges, especially rising operational costs and intensifying competition from both new and existing players, contrary to the weak and limited purchasing power of potential patients.
Regarding cost management, private hospitals should work to keep healthcare costs affordable for each patient segment. At the same time, medical packages for COVID-19 treatment and prevention should be offered online and offline to give consumers more options. So doing would likely allow private hospitals to stay competitive in the market. Furthermore, quality of treatments and services, as well as maintenance of balance in resource management should always be taken into consideration to ensure appropriate business adjustment.