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Asia Insight

Tourism proves hazardous to Thai hospitals' financial health

Japan shares pain as arrivals boom and unpaid medical bills balloon

KENTARO IWAMOTO, APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT and RURIKA IMAHASHI, Nikkei staff writers | Thailand

PHUKET, Thailand/TOKYO -- The tourism high season has begun on southern Thailand's resort island of Phuket. For the head of the island's biggest hospital, the coming months will be anything but a vacation.

Every year, Vachira Phuket Hospital accepts thousands of foreign patients -- many of them during the dry months from November to March, when millions of holidaymakers come for the blissful beaches, historic old town and wild nightlife.

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