State backing for wellness business is solid
Key elements need to be synchronised to elevate health and wellness services
published : 23 Mar 2023 at 21:43
writer: Apinya Wipatayotin
The government has fully supported the private sector’s effort to make Thailand the global medical hub in the region, a health expert from the Ministry of Public Health said on Thursday.
The country’s health and wellness businesses are being supported under the government’s national 20-year strategic plan, Saowapa Jongkitipong, public health technical officer (expert level), said during the “Thailand’s Road to Wellness Hub” online seminar organised by the Bangkok Post.
The plan is underpinned by a range of fundamental advantages such as reasonable prices, highly skilled medical staff with advanced technology and the country’s reputation as a travel hub, she said.
Such points help the country attract a diverse range of clients from other regions, including new target groups from the Gulf States, South Asia and Africa, Ms Saowapa said.
Moreover, the country has moved into s-curve industries, which includes medicine development, she said.
“We have fully supported our business partners to achieve the goal,” she said in reference to Thailand’s global medical hub aspirations.
“Covid-19 is an outstanding case example — we offered hotel quarantine, which could help them continue doing business during the global health crisis,” Ms Saowapa said.
“And we have to do more to create a new ecosystem to achieve the goal.”
Ms Saowapa said Thailand’s health and wellness industry has several important elements: conventional medicine services, precision medicine, wellness products such as food and herbs and academic services, including conferences and R&D.
Such elements need to be synchronised to elevate the health and wellness service in the country, she said.
As part of this, she said, the government will establish a prototype for a Thailand Wellness Corridor (TWC), which could link all elements of health and wellness together in one hub.
She further noted that the elderly care sector has become a significant market in the country due to an increasing elderly population, especially in Thailand.
The global elderly care market is expected to account for US$1.9 billion (64.7 billion baht) in 2027, he said.
Ms Saowapa added that the next government, after the coming elections, will continue to support and prioritise the nation’s health and wellness goals.