Visa proposals could encourage medical travel to Thailand

 

The government has approved a proposal to include the USA and Japan in the group of countries from which patients may have medical treatment in Thailand for a period of 90 days without needing a visa.

The 90-day medical treatment visa-waiver programme applies to 13 countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and China, and now includes Japan and the USA.

The government is focused on the promotion of innovation and medical excellence, as well as health-related tourism, to add economic value. A total of 3.4 million health-related visits were made to Thailand in 2018, generating B28 billion (US$920 million) in revenue on health, wellness and medical tourism. 

A new medical visa category is being proposed that could allow people to stay in the Kingdom for medical treatment for up to 12 months.  And another four countries are being proposed to add to those that can apply for ten-year visas: South Korea, Belgium, Austria and New Zealand.

The government has yet to decide on the medical visa and ten-year visa change. 

For an in-depth analysis of the medical tourism sector in Thailand, subscribe to the IMTJ Country Profiles.

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