HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Thailand

Bangkok Dusit rides Thailand's medical tourism boom

Profits are rising thanks to foreign patients.

Bangkok Dusit Medical Services--one of Southeast Asia's most highly-valued healthcare stock of late--reported a 9% year-on-year increase in operating income in the second quarter of the year, boosted by strong medical tourism numbers.

The group’s stock price has jumped by a staggering 26% since the start of the year, pushing its value to roughly $13 billion.

In the second quarter, Bangkok Dusit attributed its growth to an increase in patient volume and higher prices, which was driven by the fact that 10 Bangkok Dusit hub hospitals have been upgraded as Centers of Excellence.

If Thailand's medical tourism numbers are anything to go by, then Bangkok Dusit's future seems secure. The country remains a top destination for medical tourism, and international patients accounted for 28% of Bangkok Dusit's revenue in Q2.

"Revenue from Thai patients grew 11% year-on-year and revenue from international patients grew 7% on-year. Key drivers were mainly from Kuwaitis, Cambodian and Chinese patients," the group reported. Occupancy rates also rose to 66% in the first half of the year.

Bangkok Dusit is Thailand's largest hospital operator. It runs 45 hospitals under six brands with a combined capacity of 8,000 beds. It also manages a number of “wellness centers” in resort hubs such as Phuket and Samui.

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