This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/17/2017

Overview

Thailand has a global reputation for its world-class and affordable healthcare service.  The country has internationally-certified doctors and medical staff.  The country’s top private hospitals are famous for providing a combination of hospital and five-star hotel service.  Currently, Thailand has 56 hospitals, specialized clinics and medical centers in Thailand that are certified by the Joint Commission International, which is the highest in ASEAN (Singapore 22, Malaysia 14), and higher than Japan (23) and South Korea (30).   More than half of the accredited hospitals are in Bangkok followed by major tourism cities such as Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Samui. 

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand received 30 million tourists, of which up to 16 million or 53%, came for medical and wellness treatments.  Tourists who specifically sought medical treatments came in at 857,086 and about 15 million came for wellness (for a wide range of services from massage to health food). International patients are from the Middle East countries such as Oman and United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Myanmar, China, U.S. and European countries.  Private hospitals in Bangkok serve more than 43% of medical tourists coming to Asia.  Medical treatments that are mostly sought by the international patients include general medical check-up, cancer treatments, hip replacements, kidney transplants, cardiology testing, dentistry, heart surgeries, cosmetic surgeries and sex change operations.

Thailand’s healthcare system is divided into three programs.  The Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme for civil servants and their families, the Social Security Scheme for private sector workers, and Universal Coverage for the rest of the population.  Thailand has become an aging society, and senior citizens will comprise 20% of the population by 2035.  Most of Thailand's elderly are in the low-income group and will therefore rely heavily on public hospitals.  Public hospitals in Thailand account for roughly 55% of total medical device purchases.  Market growth, however, is fueled mostly by medical facility upgrades and replacement largely at specialized private hospitals.

Thailand’s medical device market was estimated at $1.259 billion in 2016 and is expected to grow at least 10% in 2017.  In 2016, imports of medical devices increased 10.4% and exports of medical devices increased 7%, reflecting steady growth in Thailand’s healthcare sector despite the global and domestic economic downturn.  As a market leader, U.S. device makers provide approximately one-fourth of the imported medical devices. 

There are over 160 local manufacturers of medical devices; most are lower-end devices such as disposable test kits and syringes, as well as latex products including surgical gloves and catheters.  Over 80% of domestic production is exported.
 

Thailand - Medical Devices - Total Market Size

 

2014

2015

2016

2017 (Estimated)

Total Local Production

964

970

1,038

1,091

Total Exports

771

776

831

873

Total Imports

874

953

1,052

1,157

Imports from the US
 

190

228

255

281

Total Market Size

1,067

1,147

1,259

1,375

Exchange Rates

32.48

34.29

35.28

35.28

 $US Millions (total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Cardiovascular devices

  • Clinical diagnostic devices

  • Dental devices

  • Dermatological devices

  • Neurological & surgical devices

  • Ophthalmic and optical devices

  • Orthopedic implant devices

  • Plastic surgery

  • Rehabilitation equipment

  • Respiratory devices

Opportunities

The best opportunities for medical devices are those related to surgical procedure equipment, respiratory devices and oxygen therapy, orthopedic implant devices, heart valves, neurosurgical devices, rehabilitation equipment and accessories, and dermatological devices. 

The market growth in the next few years will be driven by demand for upgrades and expansion of existing health care facilities and medical devices, as well as replacement of accessories.  Leading private hospitals have been investing to reinforce their position in the market.  Bumrungrad International Hospital continues to focus on core overseas markets such as the Middle East, United States, and northern and central Asia.  Bumrungrad International Hospital plans to raise its profile by opening more referral offices in Myanmar, Indonesia and Cambodia.  Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS), Thailand's largest private healthcare group, has invested $122.7 million on new facilities at its Bangkok Hospital.  BDMS has added 300 beds to be reserved for overseas patients, of which 100 will be dedicated to customers from the Middle East and Myanmar with the balance for patients from Western countries.


Web Resources

Medical Device Control Division

Food and Drug Adminstrtion, Ministry of Public Health
Thai Medical Device Technology Industry Assoication

Trade Shows:

InterCare Asia 2017
(International Expo for Elderly Care and Wellness)
Date: 6-8 July, 2017
Medical Fair Thailand 2017
Date: 6-8 September, 2017

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Thailand Healthcare Trade Development and Promotion