In 2020, Bumrungrad International Hospital witnessed two seminal moments in its history. We celebrated our 40th anniversary, in commemoration of our proud commitment to the community and our dedication to providing world-class care to our patients throughout the globe. Secondly, we’re navigating through a global pandemic the likes of which haven’t been witnessed in over 100 years. COVID-19 emerged and quickly spread to almost every country around the world, including Thailand. Our 40th year of operation was therefore dominated by the significant challenges of running the business during a global pandemic.
Despite strong measures by the Thai government to protect public health and rehabilitate the economy, international travel restrictions had a devastating effect on many businesses. With tourists, foreign patients and businesspeople unable to travel overseas, Thailand’s hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and private hospitals suffered significantly.
Prior to 2020, approximately 55% of Bumrungrad International Hospital’s annual income came from overseas patients. Consequently, the hospital’s strategy was revised to reduce reliance on these patient groups. During the second half of 2020, the Thai government relaxed control measures and allowed foreign patients to enter the country for medical treatment. Nevertheless, the situation remains challenging in many regions that are home to our overseas patients, especially the Middle East, CLMV countries and the USA. The hospital’s focus therefore shifted to domestic target groups, including Thais and foreign residents in Thailand. Yet even among these groups, there were challenges, including the slowdown in domestic purchasing power and public concern about the local COVID-19 outbreak at year-end. Higher operating costs and intensified competition among private hospitals added further challenges.
To adapt to these fast-changing circumstances, Bumrungrad continuously reviewed and acted decisively. We adjusted our playbook and our focus. We however did not stray our values on which this hospital was founded. We found inspiration from our values of being agile, innovative and caring. A few examples of these increasing our investments in advanced technology and equipment to provide the best infection prevention and control measures and to enhance treatment results. To adapt to changing patient behavior, the hospital offered additional services and promotions, while driving even greater efficiency in the management of service areas. Health and wellness goals were fully integrated into holistic medical care, treating and promoting health and we maintained close contact with patients. In gratitude for their support, we pledged a price freeze on the occasion of our 40th anniversary.
While the global COVID-19 situation may not yet have eased, I am confident that Bumrungrad will continue to successfully navigate the resulting challenges and maintain its leadership of Thailand’s private hospital sector. As always, our unwavering commitment to the highest quality and safety standards is at the heart of everything we do. We continue to develop Bumrungrad’s status as a quaternary hospital offering eight centers of excellence and three critical care units. We also continue our relentless focus on advanced medical technology and innovation. In addition, we are expanding our focus on wellness, with the launch of Vitallife@Bangkrachao at the world-class medical and wellness resort RAKxa.
I would like to thank our investors, the Board of Directors and hospital management team, I would also like to thank business partners everywhere as well as government agencies that have supported hospital operations during these difficult times.
Finally, I extend my gratitude to all of the doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, multi-disciplinary professionals and support staff at Bumrungrad International Hospital. During this challenging year, many of them made significant personal sacrifices to ensure that the hospital continued to provide the highest standards of care for patients. Although this year was not the 40th anniversary for which we had hoped, it is still an anniversary of which we are proud.
Mr. Chai Sophonpanich