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Health Care

Thai hospital group targets wealthy in tie-up with Chinese insurer

Ping An Heath to offer policies for treatment at BDMS hospitals in Thailand

BDMS would like to fill more of its 8,000 beds in 49 hospitals across the country with wealthy Chinese. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

BANGKOK -- Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, Thailand's largest private hospital chain, has partnered with China's leading Ping An Health Insurance in a move to provide wealthy Chinese clients with high-end care when the coronavirus pandemic ebbs sufficiently to allow air travel.

According to an agreement signed on Monday, certain Ping An policy holders will be offered care at hospitals in BDMS's network.

Ping An Health Insurance is a member of the Ping An Insurance Group, which has interests in banking, asset management and other areas, with more than 100 million customers across China.

BDMS President Narumol Noi-am said the company expected to add 1 billion baht ($32 million) to 2 billion baht of revenue this year from the tie-up. "This is an initial forecast based on the pandemic ending by the last quarter of this year, when international flights are expected to be allowed," said Narumol.

The medical giant has 8,000 beds in 49 hospitals across the country, with revenue of 83.7 billion baht, of which 70% was from Thai patients. Chinese patients account for only 1% to 2% of total foreign patients.

BDMS expects around 1,000 to 4,000 Chinese patients to be treated in Thailand's hospitals over the next few years. The company is banking on an early end to the pandemic.

Thailand has recorded no new domestic cases for more than a month -- a plus which could attract wealthy Chinese patients.

"This project with Ping An Health Insurance targets wealthy patients, who have more medical needs as they grow older in China's aging society," said Buranut Limjitti, senior vice president of BDMS.

Specific polices will provide patients a wide range of services, including teleconsulting, visa processing, interpretation, ground transportation and care in a private room.

Since Thailand has dealt comparatively well with the pandemic, Buranut said BDMS is also thinking about partnering with other insurance companies in China to expand its services for Chinese patients.

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