Bumrungrad plays an important role in the growth of Thailand’s healthcare industry with its Collaboration of Expertise, and providing our services at the highest quality and safety standards.
During the past 10 years, Thailand’s government and private sector have achieved great success in making the Kingdom a world-class medical hub. Recent stock market estimates predict that private hospital businesses will expand more than 10 to 15 percent, and that the number of foreign patients traveling to Thailand for treatment will also increase at an average of 10 percent per annum.*
What has enabled Thailand’s healthcare industry to flourish so robustly for the past two decades? Dr. Num Tanthuwanit, Bumrungrad’s Chief Executive Officer, answered that question on TNN24 news network’s “Business Watch” at the end of 2015. Better Health provides a summary of the interview.
TNN24: What is the overall state of Thailand’s healthcare industry?
Dr. Num: I’d like to point out that Thailand’s standards in healthcare and medical services are very high. That’s because our modern healthcare system has been developing since the era of King Rama 5. With ongoing developments, Thai people have had the good fortune to access high quality healthcare throughout this period. Today, Thailand’s excellent medical teams, using the latest technology, are delivering outstanding outcomes for patients at a cost much lower compared to hospitals of the same quality in other countries. That’s why increasing numbers of foreigners seek treatment at our hospital every year.
Improvement and expansion of new services occur not just in the private sector. Many government hospitals have developed their strategies in the same direction, providing more options for both Thai and foreign patients who seek high quality treatment in modern facilities.
At Bumrungrad, we treat roughly 1.1 million patients annually from over 190 countries worldwide, with an equal proportion of Thai and foreign patients. Most of these foreigners come from Thailand’s neighboring countries.
“What impresses people worldwide about Bumrungrad is our recognized medical services of the highest quality and safety standards.” Dr. Num Tanthuwanit
TNN24: What’s Bumrungrad’s strategy in standing out amongst the competition?
Dr. Num: First, it’s our expertise in medical treatment; Bumrungrad has over 1,200 expert doctors in 55 specialties, and more than 30 specialist centers with expertise in very complicated cases. And the more patients we welcome from every corner of the world, the more experience our physicians earn from giving them individualized treatment.
Second, it’s the collaboration between our teams. Taking care of a patient requires all associated physicians in various specialties to join colleagues from other fields, such as pharmacists, nutritionists, physical therapists, and nurses, as they systematically plan treatments to deliver comprehensive and effective outcomes.
What impresses people worldwide about Bumrungrad is our recognized medical services of the highest quality and safety standards. Indeed, Bumrungrad was the first hospital in Asia to receive accreditation from the US-based Joint Commission International (JCI) in 2003, and has received reaccreditation every three years since. How Bumrungrad played a vital role in preventing the spread of MERS in the kingdom last year speaks volumes of our commitment to world-class safety and service standards.
Thailand’s cultural tradition of politeness and etiquette makes a great impression on patients. We are so proud that today Thailand has over fifty JCI-accredited hospitals, both in the government and private sectors, which proves that healthcare in Thailand is at a high standard. Apart from that, Thai hospitals’ service-minded tradition of caregiving is an advantage over competing countries that are trying to establish themselves as international medical hubs.
TNN24: Bumrungrad recently launched a new TVC campaign, “The Collaboration of Expertise”; why did you choose this approach and what are its unique marketing strategies?
Dr. Num: The TVC spot, “The Collaboration of Expertise,” represents our organizational culture and values, which we have cultivated for over thirty-five years. It brings everything together and makes the patient the center of attention. The campaign illustrates how Bumrungrad offers the best medical services through its orchestration of expertise in treating patients, systematic collaboration, modern technology, and service mindedness.
I want to emphasize the great importance we place on selecting the latest and best technology to serve patients. Bumrungrad is the first private hospital to have a Simulation Training Center, which uses simulation mannequins to train staff in over sixty different scenarios. Physicians or physician trainers use a computer program to aid our personnel in enhancing their professional skills in safe and efficient patient care.
Furthermore, we are one of only five hospitals in the world, and the first hospital outside the USA to use a new intelligent data processing system to plan patients’ individual cancer treatments – the IBM Watson for Oncology system, developed by the world’s leading cancer center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering. IBM Watson uses artificial intelligence to analyze large amounts of clinical information to create guideline summaries that match patients to treatments. This cognitive computing tool is said to play an important part in the future of medicine.
TNN24: Where is the hospital business heading in the future?
Dr. Num: I believe that health tourism is a promising market with good prospects for continual growth. International competition increases, but Thailand holds strong advantages in many aspects. Bumrungrad’s operational plan from now on focuses on expanding facilities in the hospital: more medical exam rooms and more beds to serve increasing numbers of both Thai and foreign patients. Aside from that, we concentrate on finding more qualified overseas physicians with expertise in different fields to come work in Thailand.
We’ll also bring in new medical technology, such as robotic assistance in prostate and kidney surgery, and cerebrovascular diagnosis and treatment-assisting tools with better accuracy and efficiency.
Ultimately, all of our improvements and innovations originate from our commitment to keeping our patients at the heart of all we do.