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Health Care

Thai hospital opens one-stop center for LGBTQ services

Pride Clinic offers surgical procedures, hormone treatment and checkups

Thailand moved to legalize same-sex unions last year and markets itself as welcoming to LGBTQ visitors. (Photo courtesy of Bumrungrad International Hospital)

BANGKOK -- Thailand's Bumrungrad International Hospital has launched a clinic for LGBTQ patients, bringing together specialized services catering to this minority demographic.

The high-end private hospital operator's new Pride Clinic will offer gender confirmation surgery, hormone treatments, cosmetic surgery and health checkups. These services had been scattered across multiple facilities.

The clinic aims to tap demand from LGBTQ people, who are often part of double-income households with no children and have relatively high spending power. The country moved last year to legalize same-sex unions and markets itself as welcoming to LGBTQ visitors.

While Thailand is known as a medical tourism destination, health centers specifically for LGBTQ people remain rare here. Bumrungrad anticipates patients from China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

By providing services from medical professionals, the hospital hopes to help people avoid such potentially harmful alternatives as self-administering hormones.

A number of Thai companies took steps in recognition of Pride Month in June. Wireless carrier Total Access Communication, better known as DTAC, extended such benefits as time off and allowances for marriage and bereavement to all couples, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Thailand has at least 4 million LGBTQ people, according to Bumrungrad. The global LGBTQ population has been estimated at more than 400 million.

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