A steady pair of hands steering the ship
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A steady pair of hands steering the ship

Responsible for treating numerous patients throughout his medical career, Dr Pichit Kangwolkij now makes tricky business decisions for Vimut Holding Hospital

Dr Pichit is helping Vimut Holding Hospital develop specialist hospitals, a trend in the Thai medical industry.
Dr Pichit is helping Vimut Holding Hospital develop specialist hospitals, a trend in the Thai medical industry.

Dr Pichit Kangwolkij treats diseases as part of his profession, so making business diagnoses a part of his daily routine requires a shift in mindset.

As the acting chief executive of Vimut Holding Hospital Co, Dr Pichit assists the company in identifying business challenges, analysing trends in the medical industry and steering the hospital towards growth and development.

Vimut is a unit of Pruksa Holding, a real estate developer, where Dr Pichit is group chief executive.

Dr Pichit and his management team are tasked with devising strategies to present their hospitals and services to prospective patients, embrace new technologies, promote business sustainability and establish suitable investment plans.

The company wants to establish Vimut as a centre of excellence that helps improve people's quality of life.


Vimut is taking advantage of the state's policy of promoting wellness tourism abroad by holding roadshows overseas, meeting with locals to introduce them to its medical services, he said.

The government wants to transform Thailand into a world-class medical hub in Southeast Asia and lists wellness tourism among the 12 targeted S-curve industries in the Eastern Economic Corridor, which covers parts of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao.

The company is focusing on attracting prospective patients from the Middle East and China, where Vimut is holding roadshows promoting its medical services.

"The Middle East and China represent high-potential markets. Arabs seek medical treatment in Thailand because of its advanced technology and service-oriented approach, while the Chinese presence in Thailand continues to grow," said Dr Pichit.

He said Southeast Asia is another target market, given Thailand's excellent medical facilities and proximity to other Asean member nations, making it easy for patients from these countries to organise treatment in Thai hospitals.

The number of Cambodian patients seeking treatment in Thailand is rising, followed closely by visitors from Myanmar. Vimut has citizens of Cambodia and Myanmar currently being treated at the hospital, said Dr Pichit.

Foreigners only represent 5% of patients at the moment, with 95% comprising Thais.

Revenue generated from foreign patients at the company's hospitals is less than the share generated by locals, but Vimut projects an even split in the future.

"It's challenging to predict exactly when we'll reach the 50% revenue target," he said.

"Vimut is a new hospital in Thailand, operating in the medical field for only three years. Achieving a 50% revenue target from foreign patients is a satisfactory goal."


Adopting new technologies forms part of Vimut's efforts to enhance its medical services.

The company is developing a cancer and tumour centre for patients needing high-tech and innovative treatments, such as those using a "gamma knife". Known as gamma knife radiosurgery, it is a form of radiotherapy treatment.

To use a gamma knife, a physician uses very precise beams of gamma rays to treat an area of the disease, particularly in the brain, without needing to make an incision. This destroys unwanted cells, causing the lesion or tumour to shrink in size.

"Gamma rays are as precise as a surgical knife and beneficial to patients because they do not require multiple radiation treatments. A single session is often sufficient," said Dr Pichit.

Vimut is set to become the first medical facility in Thailand to utilise gamma knife radiosurgery for patient treatment.

"We expect the cancer and tumour center to be built and equipped with a gamma knife within one year. The hospital acquired the gamma knife technology for around 200 million baht," he said.


Vimut wants to apply the sustainability concept as it grows its business, bringing patients closer to nature at a new hospital it is developing.

Dr Pichit said the company is looking for new opportunities to expand its downstream business through the "Live Well" brand of pharmacy stores, as this sector often grows in line with the economy and population.

"We aim to expand our business from upstream to downstream operations to ensure sustainable growth," he said.

Vimut is appraising a business plan focused on the location and number of drugstores, along with medical staff services. The hospital currently operates two pilot drugstores in Bangkok.

The company is also developing an orthopedic centre in the Thong Lor area under what it calls a "green hospital" concept.

The new orthopedic centre is being designed as an eco-friendly hospital that includes a suitable "healing" environment, offering a relaxing and calming experience for patients and their families during their stay, said Dr Pichit.

"The centre plans to begin operations within two years, supporting the residents of a bustling city like Bangkok. It draws inspiration from the concept of the new park in Bangkok," he said.


In 2024, Vimut allocated 3.2 billion baht to expand its business.

Having spent around 1.5 billion baht to develop the orthopedic centre, the company is interested in investing in other fields of medical services to achieve its goal of becoming a centre of excellence.

"Our focus is on treatment at heart-brain-bone medical centres and cancer disease management," said Dr Pichit.

Vimut is set to open two long-term care hospitals dedicated to serving the elderly in Bangkok this year. One is located on Watcharaphon Road and the other on Bearing Road.

The company already opened a Lasik surgery centre, using modern technology to treat patients.

People need good visual acuity and changes in lifestyles have caused many people to seek Lasik surgery as an alternative to wearing glasses, he said.

All medical businesses are expected to help the company increase its revenue, which will support its development and services over the long term, said Dr Pichit.

"This year our total revenue has continued to increase," he said, adding that a portion of the earnings were derived from Vimut-Theptarin Hospital.

The company acquired a 51% share in Theptarin Hospital in Bangkok in 2021.

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