On 17 September 1980, a small private hospital opened in Soi Sukhumvit 3 with the goal to provide international-standard medical services and excellent care to all patients. For the co-founders, it would have been hard to imagine that 36 years later, that small hospital would become a globally recognized medical center that brings better health to millions of patients each year.
In the Beginning
In Thai, the word “bumrungrad” means “to nurture the people,” a name that epitomized the hospital’s goal when it entered the medical services business. The hospital started as a 200-bed facility in a seven-story building providing treatment in Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Obstetrics-Gynecology, with four physicians and support staff caring for a few hundred patients.
It didn’t take long for word to get around that Bumrungrad’s physicians and medical support personnel treated patients with the level of care and concern they would want their family members to receive. With its modern facilities and staff using the latest medical equipment and techniques, in just a few years the small hospital earned recognition in Thailand and around the world.
In 1989, Bumrungrad International Hospital listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand under the name Bumrungrad Hospital Public Company Limited. The company’s goal for sustainable growth while promoting public health through excellent medical care offers a unique blend of business and altruism.
As growing numbers of people sought treatment at Bumrungrad, the seven-story building could no longer accommodate this demand. Even increasing inpatient beds by the hundreds was insufficient. Soon, it was clear that the hospital must build a new facility. On January 15, 1997, H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn inaugurated the hospital’s new 12-story building with a total area of over 70,000 square meters.
Stronger in Crisis
Despite its overwhelming success, Bumrungrad faced a range of challenges over the years. The most difficult time came at the start of its second decade when a financial crisis hit Thailand and several other countries in Asia.
The hospital’s debt increased twofold and management had to file an application for financial rehabilitation like many other businesses at that time. Meanwhile, the number of Thailand-based patients decreased. However, while many companies chose to freeze expansion plans and lay off employees to reduce costs, Bumrungrad’s leaders choose to keep the staff intact. What they asked in return was that employees use some of their free time to practice English in order to prepare for tapping the international market to offset the drop in domestic demand.
Meanwhile, the medical team gained strength when Prof. Dr. Sinn Anuras, Group Medical Director, invited internationally trained Thai physicians living abroad to come home and join Bumrungrad, bringing all their latest knowledge and experience in new medical techniques and technologies with them.
Indeed, the 1997 financial crisis was the turning point that defined a new direction and mission for Bumrungrad, one that it continues to pursue even today.
Stepping Onto the World Stage
Two decades after its founding,Bumrungrad continued to gain global accolades. In 2002, the US-based Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited Bumrungrad as an international hospital, the first in Asia to receive this crucial endorsement. Bumrungrad’s international profile grew in parallel with its expanding accreditations. In 2010, the U.S.-based Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems (COTH), which is comprised of CEOs from world- renowned teaching hospitals, invited Curt Schroeder, former Bumrungrad CEO, to be the keynote speaker at its Spring meeting. Schroeder asked for a show of hands of those in the audience who were familiar with Bumrungrad before seeing the name on the conference agenda. Almost every hand in the room went up.
Keeping in mind the many international hospitals that vie for recognition, to have nearly the entire audience know about a hospital from Thailand with a name that’s hard to pronounce was impressive. Even more remarkable, as noted by a former Bumrungrad executive in an interview in Better Health in 2010, was how much other healthcare executives knew about Bumrungrad’s staff, services, and reputation.
“The hospital’s steady growth comes from our organizational culture and values: to make patients the center of attention and provide them with the best possible medical services.” Dr. Num Tanthuwanitstaff
Bumrungrad continues to grow, having opened a 21-story outpatient building in 2011 that provides services to millions of patients from all over the world. Most of these patients have severe and often complicated illnesses and conditions. They travel to Bumrungrad because they’re confident they’ll receive the same excellent medical care as they might expect in other world-class hospitals.
Now in its third decade, Bumrungrad Hospital is firmly established in the global medical community as a leading health services provider. Many healthcare industry and news websites consistently rank it in the world’s top 10 best hospitals. Bumrungrad appreciates this recognition, but its success also shows that Thailand’s government and private sector have developed a world-class medical hub in the kingdom over the past 10 years.
Dr. Num Tanthuwanit, Chief Executive Officer of Bumrungrad Hospital, attributes the hospital’s steady growth to its organizational culture and values: make patients the center of attention and provide them with the best possible medical services.
Today, Bumrungrad has over 1,300 doctors in 55 specialties and more than 30 specialist centers. We continually update our equipment with the best and latest medical technologies, including IBM Watson for Oncology, Robotic Arm-Assisted Joint Replacement Surgery, and our Simulation Training Center.
In its tireless quest to deliver the most comprehensive and successful outcomes for patients, Bumrungrad’s standout achievement is cultivating a culture of systematic collaboration among physicians and personnel in all departments. Add to that Bumrungrad’s unique emphasis on Thai service-mindedness, which delights and comforts patients and their families during difficult times.
A Sustainable Future
Bumrungrad continues to grow, adding new facilities to accommodate more patients, expand specialist centers, on-site clinics, and clinics in other countries. Concurrently, it hires more specialist doctors and personnel in all relevant fields and keeps adding new medical technologies as they come on the scene. Bumrungrad has undergone many changes in its 36 years, but our guiding principle remains constant, and it is to provide the best science-based care with compassion and integrity for each of our patients.
September 17, 1980
Bumrungrad Hospital opens its doors
Share listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand under the name Bumrungrad Hospital Public Company Limited
The 16-story Mother and Child building opens (now called BH Residence)
The 12-story Bumrungrad International Hospital Building opens with a total area of 70,262 square meters
Bumrungrad is the first hospital in Thailand accredited by Hospital Accreditation Thailand (HA)
First hospital in Thailand certified with ISO 9000:2000
- Asia’s first hospital accredited by the US-based Joint Commission International (JCI) and re-accredited in 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017
- Prime Minister’s 2002 Export Award as Outstanding Private Hospital
Voted “Best Small Cap Company” by Asiamoney magazine readers (and again in 2008)
- Rebranded as Bumrungrad International
- Featured on 60 MINUTES, the popular US television program
First hospital outside US to receive two JCI Disease Specific Certifications (Stroke and Heart Attack programs)
- The 22-story Bumrungrad International Clinic Building opens as outpatient clinics
- Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS) Award, recognizing excellence and outstanding achievement in applied medical informatics
- First private Thai hospital to win Thailand Quality Class for performance excellence from The Office of the Thailand Quality Award Voted #1 Most Admired Thai company for Quality, Asian Wall Street Journal reader survey
- First private hospital in Thailand certified with ISO 15189:2003-Medical laboratories
- First hospital to win Award of Excellence, healthcare tourism category, 2008 Thailand Tourism Awards
- “Thailand’s Most Innovative Company” by Chulalongkorn University Business School and Bangkok Biz News
Ministry of Labor’s “Best Practice Workplace for Labor Relations and Labor Welfare Award” and awarded annually to present
- Prime Minister’s 2010 Export Award for Outstanding Performance as Best Service Provider
- “Outstanding Performance: Medically Oriented Establishment” in Health Tourism at the 8th Thailand Tourism Awards
- Receives recertification for treating strokes and heart attack and two disease specific certifications (kidney diseases and diabetes) from the Joint Commission International (JCI)
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Thailand: 50 Good Practices company in 2012 in Corporate Responsibility–Customers category by Thaipat Institute
- Trusted Brand Award 2012 from Readers Digest
- American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Corporate Social Responsibility programs for 2013 and awarded annually to present
- Bumrungrad Residence and Office building opens
- A-HA Advance Hospital Accreditation
- Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence Recognition Award for 2015 from Thailand Management Association (TMA) and Sasin
- “Clinical Care Program Certification of Knee Replacement” certification from JCI
- Bumrungrad Rehabilitation Clinic at AIA Sathorn Tower opens
- Bumrungrad Clinic in Yangon opens
Bumrungrad by the numbers
Bumrungrad is the largest private hospital in South East Asia, with one of world’s largest private sector outpatient clinics. The service area of both Bumrungrad buildings totals 127,468 square meters. More statistics worth noting:
More than 1,300 specialist doctors and dentists
More than 1,000 nurses
More than 4,800 employees
More than 300 medical staff
More than 150 interpreters providing services in 14 languages
Number of patients
1,230,780 patients treated per year
3,372 patients treated per day
520,000 patients treated per year
From over 190 countries
580 inpatient beds
275 examination suites
33 international representative offices in 18 countries
33 specialist centers More than 100 specialties
More than 2,000 babies delivered per year