Thailand plans to introduce a new medical treatment visa on Jan 1 to cement its position as a medical hub in the region.
Deputy government spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana said on Tuesday the new type of visa is tentatively planned for Jan 1 next year, as related government agencies are ready for its launch.
The cabinet on Tuesday approved the Public Health Ministry’s proposal to reduce a fee for applicants for the medical treatment visa under the Non-MT category, from 6,000 baht to 5,000 baht.
The new visa allows multiple entries and is valid for one year. The visa holder can stay in the country for 90 days. Three people who are immediate family members are also allowed.
Other conditions include:
- Patients who need further medical treatment are required to report to immigration authorities every 90 days.
- Applicants must have at least 800,000 baht to cover expenses in Thailand.
- Accident and Covid-19 insurance policies with a minimum coverage of US$100,000 (3 million baht) are needed.
Ms Tipanan said the new visa is in line with the government policy to make the country a medical hub as it is promoting medical tourism.
She said tourists applying for this visa must have health conditions that hospitals in Thailand can treat and require more than 90 days of medical treatment. They include anti-ageing and regenerative medical treatment, coronary artery disease, cancer, dental care and cosmetic surgery.
Thailand currently allows tourists coming for medical treatment if they apply for a tourist visa or a non-immigrant visa. The exemption is for visitors from six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
All are for a single entry only.
In November last year, the cabinet agreed in principle to this type of visa. All related agencies, including the Public Health, Foreign Affairs, and Tourism and Sports ministries, as well as the Immigration Bureau, were assigned to work on details for the final stamp of approval.