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Thai Visas For Medical Tourists Increasingly Easy To Obtain

Transcript of the above video:

In this video today, we're discussing medical tourism specifically here in Thailand and certain immigration policy changes that would seem to be operating to the favor of making Thailand a medical tourism hub. In a recent article from the Bangkok Post which was publish July 13, 2017, the headline of the article “Patients from five Asian countries now eligible for 90 days stay.”

So the quote directly from the article, “The new visa free medical regulation will allow patients from four Asian neighbors in China will get automatic 90 day passport stamps.” To further quote, “the government has extended to stay for patients from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam as well as those from China who have come to Thailand for medical treatment from 30 to 90 days in accordance with it with its ambitious plan to turn the country into a medical hub.” Finally to quote further, “General Tanasak Patimapradkon, another deputy prime minister said the government is promoting health tourism with a goal of turning the country into a world-class center of medicine.” And I recommend that anybody interested in this stuff to go to the Bangkok Post website and read that article in full.

My commentary with respect to this is it seems like this has been something of a long time coming. I have personally dealt with cases involving foreign nationals here in the Kingdom who become sick or have an accident or just have been taken under medical care and as a result of that, it becomes somewhat problematic with respect to maintaining their immigration status here in the Kingdom because for now if nothing else, oftentimes with respect to extensions of stay in the country, immigration wants to actually see the individual at the immigration office. Well somebody who’s had a massive head injury is going to have a hard time getting out to the immigration office to physically present themselves with respect to extension of stay. And in some cases, they end up in overstay which can become even more problematic with respect to maintaining one's status here in the Kingdom.

Or in the past, there are certain hospitals which do take it upon themselves to assist their patients with respect to immigration and extensions can be dealt with in May. I think this policy is a step in the right direction with respect to Thailand immigration policy as a whole because notably, I think it's going to definitely encourage more medical tourism. And as far as Thailand goes as a jurisdiction with respect to medicine, Thailand really is one of the top medical hubs in the region on its own already. By encouraging further medical tourism and further longer stays for those wishing to undertake medical treatment, I think it's only going to result in doctors here in the kingdom becoming better at their practice and I also think it's probably going to result in hospitals. You know, there's just a great deal of a business. There's a business aspect to this where business is going to be increased and also, the technical proficiency of the medical practitioners is probably going to rise. At the same time, it was a little bit harsh from a humanitarian perspective to be sort of requiring extensions of stay for somebody who's been battering. I think that the time immigration authorities have looked at that. They've made an assessment of the overall situation and at the end of the day, they’ve pretty well come to a reasonable solution to these issues and which also may prove significantly beneficial to the medical community here in Thailand.