Message from the Managing Director
Ms. Linda Lisahapanya
I believe 2022, especially during the early half of the year was an inflection point of our business. The return of international medical tourism and the growing optimism that the subsequent months would see growth in the overall business was a time we have all longawaited. It was often said that perhaps a “new normal” would emerge, whereby Thailand would see its’ standing as a major global tourism and medical tourism destination lose its’ sheen. We had long maintained that the value proposition of the country and Company remain firmly intact. By end December 2022, the number of international tourists reached 11.5 million, far exceeding expectations, despite conflict, high fuel prices and airfares. Though still a fraction of the volumes we saw in the heydays of 2019, I am confident we will see continued robust recovery in volumes for 2023 and beyond.
As human beings, we seek new experiences, leisure and relaxation. On this Thailand punches well above its weight. But we also get sick and as the world becomes increasingly aged, spending power, and frequency and acuity of illness typically increases. These factors all point to bright future for the medical tourism industry, an area of business where we have accumulated immense experience and expertise. We have planned for the eventual return of travel normalcy, with a focus on enhancing our acumen in our focus markets, identifying new opportunities and locating areas for improvement.
Operationally, we have become more efficient. Adopting or building on technologies that improve accessibility for the convenience of the patient through digital channels and contact points. Digitalization in how we manage payments, market and service our patients enable our patients to receive services more rapidly and improve patient experience. These programs such as “FastTrack Pay”, “Online Chat Registration”, OPD Instant Clinic and @Home Services are making it easier, faster and more convenient for patients to seek our services and care.
During the year we opened additional clinics to support an increasing array of complex needs from patients around the world. A Neurocritical Care Unit (NCCU) was opened to enable more effective care of critically ill patients with neurological issues and managing secondary brain injuries. The Gastrointestinal Motility Center was opened in collaboration with leading Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine Center of Excellence in Neurogastroenterology and Motility. By partnering with the country’s leading specialists in the diagnosis and treatment for all types of gastrointestinal issues, we aim to provide the highest levels of care and outcomes for issues that are increasingly prevalent in the elderly in particular. Our Cornea Transplant Center establishes us as the first private hospital in Thailand to have the capability to offer comprehensive care to complex corneal conditions.
New technologies have enabled care to be rendered with increasingly less invasive means. We were the first hospital in Asia and Thailand to offer cutting edge water vapor therapy at our Urology Center to treat patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), a common ailment among males aged 60 years old and above. Recognizing the marked advancements in genomic sequencing and the increasing in-house capability of genomic testing, consultation, preventive and precision medicine here at Bumrungrad for hereditary diseases, we established the Bumrungrad Genomic Medicine Institute. Combining the latest advances in comprehensive care and recognizing the need to offer inclusive care has brought about the establishment of our PRIDE Clinic to manage sexual health and better serve holistically, the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. These are just some of a large list of examples of our focus on providing integrated, holistic, precise medical care to our patients around the world. These achievements have been recognized by Newsweek for the second consecutive year, where we were recognized as the best hospital in Thailand and among the top 200 in the world.
Our medical wellness business has expanded significantly, as people seek more ways of caring and maintaining ones’ health, immune systems. With the return of open tourism, we fully expect to capitalize on this need as traffic continues to increase through the campus. In addition to this, our wellness sanatorium business at RAKxa is expected to benefit from the recent reopening of the Chinese tourism market, where there is a distinct need for detoxification, weight and stress management.
I would like to express my gratitude to our shareholders, business partners, and patients who have entrusted us in their care. My deepest appreciation goes to the management team, doctors, dentists, and multidisciplinary healthcare professionals. Your devotion and hard work have enabled us to be one of the most widely recognized, world-class medical institutions.