Published on : Monday, August 14, 2017
The healthcare and wellness business of Thailand is expected to flourish with the government’s visa extension plan for people from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam (CLMV) and China who come to the country for medical treatment. The Thai government is also considering long-stay 10-year visas for citizens of 14 countries.
This visa extension is expected to increase the country’s position as a world-class medical tourism hub. Last month, the Thai government extended the stay time for medical tourists from CLMV and China from 30 to 90 days. The extended stay will also be applicable for up to four companions per patient.
This visa extension plan is the second one to be granted permission to stay in Thailand for 90 days. Previously, the government had granted longer visas to people from GCC countries.
Under the extended 10-year scheme, those eligible will at first get a permission to stay for five years, which can later be extended for another five years. The permit will also be applicable for the eligible one’s spouses and children up to 20 years old. The 14 eligible countries are: Australia, Japan, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Canada and the US.
Records show that last year, 2% of the 32 million visitors came to Thailand for medical treatment. Medical and wellness institutions in Thailand provided 3.2 million treatments to foreigners last year, most of which were medical checkups, cosmetic surgery and dental services.