Vimut focuses on specialist hospitals
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Vimut focuses on specialist hospitals

Dr Amporn carries out an eye examination as part of a Lasik surgery procedure.
Dr Amporn carries out an eye examination as part of a Lasik surgery procedure.

Thai hospitals are competing to become specialists in treating certain health problems as more people seek treatment and care that suit their lifestyle and age, says the head of Vimut Holding Hospital, a private hospital operator.

The company, a unit of developer Pruksa Holding, has allocated 3.2 billion baht to fuel the growth of its hospital business, with the aim to better offer specific medical services, said Pichit Kangwolkij, chief executive of Vimut Holding Hospital.

The budget will support plans to acquire land and build new hospitals.

"Vimut is interested in specialised hospitals, no matter what expertise they have -- orthopaedic, heart, brain or nervous system treatments. We also want to be a leading Lasik surgery centre," said Dr Pichit.

The company plans to spend 1.5 billion baht from the budget building an orthopaedic hospital in Bangkok's Thong Lor area to serve people, especially the elderly.

Construction is expected to be completed within the next two years.

Thailand became an aged society in 2022. The number of elderly people, those who are 60 or older, is increasing every year, while the birth rate remains low.

Vimut has opened a Lasik surgery centre using modern technology to treat patients.

People need good visual acuity and changes in lifestyles have caused many of them to seek Lasik surgery instead of having to wear glasses, said Amporn Jongsareejit, director of Vimut Lasik Centre.

It is challenging for Vimut to be among the top 10 Lasik centres in Thailand because competition is strong in the country where 30 Lasik centres have been established, he said.

At present, the number of foreign patients at Vimut Lasik Centre ranges between 20% and 40% of all patients while the rest are locals. Most of the foreign patients come from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and the Middle East.

Dr Amporn expects his centre to treat 1,000 patients this year.

In the nursing care business, Vimut plans to increase the number of beds to 600 in the next 3-4 years, up from 200 beds at its Chersery Home International Hospital.

Dr Pichit also observed that the number of Thai patients at hospitals is returning to the pre-pandemic level, while the number of foreign patients from some countries has declined.

"China and countries in the Middle East have implemented policies encouraging their citizens to seek treatment in their own countries, which has reduced the number of patients seeking treatment in Thailand," said Dr Pichit.

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