We close the year 2022 on a positive note. COVID-19 now having been classified as an endemic disease, we have forged ahead in welcoming medical and non-medical tourists from around the world who have long awaited the opportunity to visit Thailand. Though technology and medical knowledge continues to grow and shape methods in how we care for our patients, the fundamental ingredients and forces that makes Bumrungrad widely recognized as a regional leader in medical tourism remains firm.
The importance of being a responsible and contributing stakeholder in society never fades even during the most challenging of times. Our “Rak Jai Thai (Healing Hearts)” program providing heart surgeries for underprivileged children with congenital heart disease, to regular mobile clinic visits to support health in underprivileged local communities, and regular donations of vaccines and medical supplies and equipment have been stepped up and will remain unabated. I would like to especially thank our contributors and co-donors for actively supporting these programs.
The founding purpose of this hospital remains unwavering in “Caring for the People” and we hope to receive and serve those seeking exemplary levels of care in an attentive and hospitable environment that Bumrungrad is synonymously known for. We continue to strive towards becoming ever more sustainable in our practices, not only because of the importance of preserving the environment, but for the betterment of society and the long-term vibrancy of the Company. We will play our part in transitioning towards a low carbon society.
According to numerous publications, Thailand is now this year a country with a fully-fledged aged society. As with all trends, opportunities and challenges become increasingly apparent. To any hospital, this is a time for us in the industry to be doing our utmost to educate and raise awareness of the importance of maintaining good health and taking a proactive approach to “healthspans”. On this, hospitals and medical wellness institutions are vital stakeholders in maintaining society’s health. Furthermore, there will be increasing demand for managing chronic and acute diseases on increasingly declining and more costly human resources, as the workforce shrinks. This why at Bumrungrad, we fix our gaze towards new technology, to embracing innovation and challenging norms. The demand tail-wind will be a tide that will lift all boats. The challenge we will have is expanding our market share domestically across focus segments, further cementing us as the go-to destination for advanced, complex, critical care.
Another opportunity we can expect is the unfortunate geopolitical global situation. Relations between the West and Russia and China are now at a low point that was last seen during the Cold War. Many companies have sought to diversify risks as the specter of increasing protectionism looms in the horizon.
By relocating or shifting investment priorities to South East Asia. Thailand, as a generally friendly trading partner, possessing relatively developed infrastructure and a skilled workforce, and paired with being an attractive business, leisure and retirement destination can carve out a sizeable share of this emigration from China. Indeed, government measures on visas and BOI privileges are aiming to facilitate this trend. We view this as conducive to the healthcare sector.
Opportunities abound for us to serve ever greater number of patients who seek the “Bumrungrad Way” of service, from new geographic markets in the Middle East to South- East Asia, and between. A vibrant and new demographic, seeking inclusive, personalized and empathetic care has emerged in the form of the LGBTQ+ community. There is also greater awareness and demand for preventive care and genomics-based medicine.
In light of these opportunities, the management of the Company have been reviewing opportunities for investment and expansion, in anticipation of capturing this growth. I am excited by the prospect of a new and opportune chapter of a post-COVID era. We cannot do this alone. And this is why I am grateful of the steadfast support of our shareholders, and partners; our valued doctors, dentists, clinicians, management and staff. Being recognized for another consecutive year as the best hospital in Thailand by Newsweek, and again among the world’s most esteemed and quality medical institutions, I am optimistic and confident of the path ahead. Thank you for your trust and collaboration.
Mr. Chai Sophonpanich
Chairman of the Board