Treasury allots B4bn for medical hub
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Treasury allots B4bn for medical hub

An aerial view of the planned tourism hub situated in Phuket.
An aerial view of the planned tourism hub situated in Phuket.

The Treasury Department together with the Public Health Ministry has vowed to splurge as much as 4 billion baht to develop and convert Phuket's medical tourism industry into a world-class medical and wellness tourist destination.

Director-general Yuthana Yimkarun said the department scheduled a Nov 2 ceremony to grant the Public Health Ministry the right to use 141 rai of the department's plot in tambon Mai Khao, Thalang district, as a medical tourism hub capable of providing high-quality treatment to locals and tourists.

The centre will offer a full range of healthcare, premium long-term care, hospice care and rehabilitation services.

The department plans to offer the plot, worth more than 1 billion baht, for free for the project.

According to Mr Yuthana, the ministry will handle investment in the project, with more than 2 billion baht estimated in the initial stage. Construction is expected to take about two years.

He said in July the department planned to pull unused state land managed by government agencies into its oversight to increase its value.

Only 4% of state land is under the direct management of the Treasury Department, out of a total of 12.5 million rai.

The remaining 96% of state land nationwide is managed by various government agencies.

The department aims to increase the direct management ratio to 10% in two years, said Mr Yuthana.

Under the guidelines to achieve this target, the department will have government agencies assess the value of land managed by them.

In a related development, on Oct 26 the Treasury Department plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Royal Thai Army to develop the second and third phases of Benjakitti Park as part of a plan to create a forest in central Bangkok. The development is expected to be complete by June next year. Once complete, the development will contain more than 10,000 trees.

According to Mr Yuthana, the department also plans to construct a city tower at Benjakitti Park, sponsored by donations.

The department plans to turn all 430 rai of the Thailand Tobacco Monopoly (TTM) land between Sukhumvit and Rama IV roads, near Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, into a public park.

The department completed the first phase covering 130 rai in 2012.

According to the development plan, all five TTM factories, warehouses and buildings will be demolished and replaced with trees. Only two buildings will be spared.

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