Ernesto Sosa: Bumrungrad International Hospital
Since the beginning of the century the United States have been considered the Land of Opportunity; however this is was greatly impacted by the effects of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A devastating event that negatively impacted many industries and economies throughout the globe gave Thailand a new window of opportunity for Medical Tourism and they have not missed a beat since. The Bumrungrad International Hospital is an example of the infrastructure that was already in place when 9/11 happened. They just took advantage of marketing to Middle Eastern travelers who normally would have come to the US for medical tourism.
Many new regulations were put in place to protect American soil, some of which made it very difficult for foreigners from the Middle East to visit the US. Thailand recognized the challenges and developed a whole industry around medical tourism and today they are the leaders in the field.
Thailand has developed a health system that caters for both Thai and international patients. Based on a self-pay system that depends very little on insurance and government bureaucracy, many private hospitals are offering highly competitive personalized health care for an eighth of a fraction of the cost compared to the US.
The crash of the Thai baht helped drive medical tourism business to hospitals in Thailand like the Bumrungrad International Hospital as well. With the Thai baht being weaker compared to the US dollar, Euro and other strong currencies, made it more affordable for international patients.
Hospitals like the Bumrungrad International Hospital offer coordinated full concierge service for international patients to ensure that the experience is smooth and hassle free. They are modeled on feedback received from patients stating, “no one wants to be in a hospital.” The Bumrungrad International Hospital is designed as a health resort, providing patients and their family with an enjoyable experience.