Balancing medical tourism and improved public health in Thailand


Aim “Medical tourism” in Thailand generates substantial revenue from foreign patients and is promoted by the private health sector with political support from the government. Significant concerns arise, however, about competing demands on health workers and other resources leading to inadequate public health provision for the Thai population. A working group was established to find an appropriate balance between private and public demands on health resources and how the private and public health sectors can collaborate to improve the health of the Thai population.
Time period 2010
Disciplines Public health, economics, sociology, medicine.
Stakeholders Ministry of Public Health, Regional and General Hospital Society, Rural Doctors Society, Private Hospital Association, health professional councils (medical, dental and nursing), University Hospital Networks – Thailand (medical schools), civil society organizations, Ministry of Commerce, legal experts, constituencies of the National Health Assembly.
Research integration outcome Evidence from several studies, expert opinion, and findings from a public hearing were combined to develop a resolution for the National Health Assembly.
Research implementation outcomes The National Health Assembly adopted the resolution in December 2010 (Third National Health Assembly 2010) and the cabinet of the Thai government endorsed it in April 2011.
Reference Third National Health Assembly. (2010). Medical hub policy. NHA3/Draft Resolution 8, Agenda item 2.8, 17 December 2010. (Online):