Deputy PM, Tourism Minister approve 90-day, visa-free stays for American, Japanese medical tourists


BANGKOK: The Directing Committee of the International Health Center has approved a proposal to include the United States and Japan in the group of countries from which patients may have medical treatment in Thailand for a period of 90 days without needing a visa.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister, and Tourism & Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitparkarn approved in principle the inclusion of the United States and Japan in the 90-day medical treatment visa-waiver program, reported state news agency NNT.

The inclusion of the two countries brought the total number of nations in the scheme to13 >the other 11 are the Gulf Cooperation Council countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as well as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and China.

Mr Anutin confirmed yesterday (Sept 29) that the government is focused on the promotion of innovation and medical excellence, as well as health-related tourism, to add economic value, the NNT report said.

Over 3.4 million health-related visits were made to Thailand last year, generating over B28 billion in revenue, he said.

Thailand, which has 68 internationally recognised health service units, the most in Asean, plans to turn the country into a world Medical Hub in 2020, he added.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on September 30, 2019

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