These medical visas will allow multiple entries to foreign patients seeking treatment into the country and shall be valid for one year. It will also allow the visa holders a maximum of 90 days stay at a stretch.
Thailand is looking forward to setting in motion a new one-year visa for foreigners seeking medical treatment, a game plan aimed at turning the country into a global healthcare tourism hub. This new permit is to be rolled out from January 1st, 2023.
The Thai government had on Tuesday approved the Public Health Ministry’s proposal to reduce the fee for applicants for this visa from 6,000 baht to 5,000 (USD 140) baht under the Non-MT section.
These medical visas will allow multiple entries to foreign patients seeking treatment into the country and shall be valid for one year. It will also allow the visa holders a maximum of 90 days stay at a stretch. Three immediate family members will also be allowed.
There are certain conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to get access to and maintain this visa:
- Patients requiring further medical treatment will be required to check in with the immigration authorities every 90 days.
- Applicants must have a total of 800,000 baht (22,383 USD) in liquid cash to umbrella the expenses in Thailand.
- Applicants are needed to have a minimum coverage of 3 million bhat (100,000 USD) on accident and Covid-19 insurance policies.
Tipanan Sirichana, the deputy government spokesperson, said that this visa is in line with the government’s aim to make Thailand an ideal medical tourism destination. Applicants must, however, have health conditions that can be treated in hospitals in Thailand. The treatments include coronary artery diseases, organ transplants, cancer, dental care, cosmetic surgery, anti-aging procedures, and regenerative medical treatments. Applicants will have to seek an extension if they require an addendum stay only if they provide their medical certificates.
Thailand, at present, allows foreigners to fly in for medical treatments with a tourist visa or a non-immigrant visa. However, six countries that form the Gulf Cooperation Council are exempted- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE, along with China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam are exempted from the same. All visas are issued for a 30-day single entry.
Thailand is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia. The government disclosed that the country is experiencing a remarkable rise and rebound in international arrivals after the pandemic as most of the restrictions on travel and business have been mellowed down. Asia’s largest hospital operator outside of China, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, says that medical tourism is at its revival stage in Thailand and is confident that it shall continue to grow from here on.
Thailand is one of the first countries to have completely opened its gates to the world for tourism after the pandemic. The first 10 months brought in 7.35 million foreigners to the country. In this year’s forecast, 10 million foreigners are expected to visit the country.
The wellness sectors comprising tourism and healthcare have been sunshine industries for Thailand all along; it is only customary to boost their potential.