Thailand BDMS aiming for 50 hospitals by 2021
Source：Bangkok Post Newspaper
From：Taiwan Trade Center, Bangkok
Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Plc (BDMS), the country's largest private hospital operator, aims to raise the number of hospitals under its wing to 50 by 2021 from 45 now, in both local and overseas markets.
To achieve the goal, the company will focus on building mid-sized hospitals with 100 beds, said acting president Narumol Noi-am, adding that each hospital has a construction cost of 500-700 million baht.
The company is studying gradual investment in three new hospitals, she said.
BDMS is constructing a 200-bed hospital at Jomtien Beach in Chon Buri's Pattaya and is expected to start providing services by next year.
Mrs Narumol forecasts the company's 2019 revenue to increase from last year on positive demand from both Thai and foreign customers.
Thais now make up 70% of BDMS's total service users, with foreigners accounting for the rest.
The hospital operator largely owned by tycoon Prasert Prasarttong-Osoth recorded a net profit of 7.84 billion baht for the first nine months of last year, compared with 8.18 billion a year earlier.
BDMS has joined with Viriyah Insurance and TQM Corporation Plc to launch health protection covering costs incurred from using medical services at Bangkok Hospital and 44 other hospitals nationwide under BDMS's network.
Mrs Narumol said the new insurance product will help boost the ratio of the company's customers with insurance protection to 35% in the foreseeable future from 29% at the moment.
Kent Potikasame, assistant managing director of Viriyah Insurance, aims for 500 million baht in insurance premiums to be derived from the new product within three years.
Viriyah Insurance has long been among the top players in the auto insurance industry, but it entered the health insurance market only last year.
"To meet the break-even point, we should have at least 10,000 [health insurance] customers in a year with an average insurance premium of 15,000 baht," Mr Kent said.
At the end of last year, the company had about 20,000 health insurance policies. It aims to keep the renewal rate of the product at 80-85% and have 15,000 policies secured by new customers in 2019.
The new health insurance covers both inpatient and outpatient cases. The insurer will pay a lump sum in the range of 450,000 to 1.5 million baht to policyholders who are admitted at the hospitals, and 1,000 baht per time with a maximum three times a year for outpatient care.
The product also covers personal accidents, paying up to 500,000 baht in case of death.