Agency highlights success of medical district
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Agency highlights success of medical district

Goal is fewer healthcare imports

The National Innovation Agency (NIA) is continuing to drive the development of the Yothi Medical Innovation District (YMID) initiative in response to demand for the creation of a central medical hub in Asia, says executive director Pun-Arj Chairatana.

The initiative, located in Bangkok’s Yothi neighbourhood, aims to reduce imports of medical innovations and establish a Thai medical innovation brand, according to the NIA.

The YMID includes medical institutes, educational institutes, research units, residences, restaurants, cafes and co-working spaces.

There are 163 supported projects within the district, including bed-sharing systems for patient transfers between hospitals, along with investments worth 11 billion baht in scientific research, technology and innovation in order to establish the Medical Innovations Development Center.

In addition, the Board of Investment has implemented measures to stimulate investment in the zone, with three innovative businesses applying for benefits within the investment promotion zone.

Mr Pun-Arj said the pandemic led to significant changes in the healthcare and medical technology landscape.

Demand for medical and healthcare solutions has increased exponentially, transforming the industry into an important sector worldwide as it benefits both social and economic dimensions. This trend has been observed in Thailand which has been ambitious in building a medical hub within the Asian region, he said.

Mr Pun-Arj said that apart from attracting investment, the initiative aims to create job opportunities and provide linkages to related businesses by focusing on driving four key areas: medical service centres; health promotion service centres; centres for pharmaceuticals and health products; and academic and research service centres.

According to Mr Pun-Arj, NIA has been promoting and supporting the YMID for more than five years as an area conducive to education, research and medical innovation in the country. The initiative aims to foster effective collaboration among government agencies, private sector entities, startups, innovative entrepreneurs and investors.

NIA evaluated the worthiness of the YMID in 2022 and found that within one year 30 new SMEs and startups had been created in the area, generating a network of 150 innovators.

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