Thailand is to ease its novel coronavirus procedures to enable more patients from abroad to undergo next month’s care, a top health official said after hospital appeals eager to treat their patients from overseas. Thailand is a major medical tourism center that attracts patients from Asia , the Middle East and beyond. But restrictions on combating coronavirus have been observed since April by most foreign patients, along with most foreigners in general.
While there is no formal ban on foreign patients except for anyone seeking Covid-19 treatment and ailments that would leverage resources to manage the outbreak they need travel approval, which can be slow and difficult to obtain. Senior health official Tares Krassanairawiwong has told Reuters that only 172 foreign patients have been allowed in after a first easing of conditions, adding that 740 people had made official entry requests.
Senior health official Tares Krassanairawiwong has told Reuters that only 172 foreign patients have been allowed in after a first easing of conditions in July, adding that 740 people had made official entry requests. But now it will encourage more health facilities to welcome foreigners again, and more are expected to come.
In step two, from 120 today, a further 100 hospitals and clinics will be eligible for receiving patients, Mr Tares said. But hospital managers say the process has been sluggish and hundreds of patients in overseas are in urgent need of care. It is a humanitarian problem as certain countries have no potential for advanced procedures, he said, citing patients in need of heart disease , diabetes and cancer care.
Thailand has had 3,404 confirmed infections with coronavirus and 58 deaths, and has gone more than three months without a domestic transmission outbreak. Tares, who heads the Health Services Support Department, said the procedures needed to ensure protection but he hoped that the approval process would be quicker. He said, expected people from neighboring country Myanmar and Cambodia, major sources of patients, to be allowed to cross land borders.