Thailand - Country Commercial Guide
Medical Devices and Technology
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With affordable healthcare, well-developed healthcare infrastructure, highly skilled medical professionals, and medical services meeting international standards, Thailand is a leading destination for medical tourism.  As of August 2023, the Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited 59 Thai medical institutes which offers diverse medical treatments, ranging from organ transplants to dental and cosmetic surgery.

Thailand’s low cost of medical care attracts increasing number of medical tourists.  The average medical tourist can expect to save 25 percent to 75 percent on various procedures and treatment options.  For example, a heart bypass surgery in Thailand costs $13,000, nearly nine times less than in the U.S. ($113,000).  A facelift costs up to $15,000 in the U.S., but as low as $3,000 in Thailand.  Hip replacement in Thailand costs about $7,800 compared to $50,000 in the U.S.  

In addition to low costs, Thailand has highly trained and experienced medical specialists and is well known for quality service.  Thailand has also made impressive strides in the use of advanced technologies and treatment options.  Furthermore, the country’s abundant tourist attractions are another major draw for medical tourists. 

According to the 2020-2021 Medical Tourism Index by the International Healthcare Research Center, Thailand ranked 5th out of 46 destinations for medical tourism.  Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Center has forecasted that Thailand’s medical tourism market is valued at $829 million in 2023 and medical tourists from CLMV countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam), the Middle East, and China are major sources of foreign patients.  Favorite medical treatments among medical tourists include cosmetic surgery, dental treatment, and medical check-up and treatments including MRI, PET/CT scans, mammography, heart surgery, and joint replacements.

According to Krungsri Bank Research Center, Thailand’s demand for medical devices connected to healthcare and hygiene will increase in 2023, due to the following factors:

  • Increasing rates of illness due to the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, requiring long term care.
  • Increasing numbers of foreign tourists seeking healthcare in Thailand.
  • Continuous investment in hospitals by private-sector healthcare providers.
  • Rising awareness and interest in health and wellness globally.
  • Growing demand for medical devices and equipment in Thailand’s main export markets.
  • Prevalence of government policies promoting Thailand as an international medical hub.


In 2022, the value of Thailand’s medical device market was approximately $7.2 billion.  Owing to global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the local production and export of personal protective equipment (PPE) decreased significantly.  As a result, Thailand’s overall production and export of medical devices decreased by 35 percent and 39 percent, respectively.  Thailand imported $2.7 billion in medical devices in which medical devices from the United States accounted for 17.2 percent of total imports or $478 million.  Thailand imported $784.32 in medical devices from China, followed by $478.34 million from the United States, $218.42 million from Germany, and $163.1 million from Japan.  The United States remains the top supplier of higher technological devices such as cardiovascular devices, ultrasound, and X-ray devices, electro-diagnostic devices, etc.

Table: Medical Devices (Millions USD)

Table: Medical Devices (Millions USD)
 2020202120222023 estimated
Total Local Production12,16712,1767,8598,252
Total Exports5,1105,6013,3793,548
Total Imports2,3762,9422,7742,913
Imports from the US488475478502
Total Market Size9,4339,5177,2547,617
Exchange Rates31313233

(Total market size = (total local production + imports) – exports)
 Source: Medical Devices Intelligence Unit (MEDIU), Thailand Office of Industrial Economics

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • In vitro diagnostic devices 
  • Cardiovascular devices
  • Dental devices
  • Dermatological devices
  • Electro-diagnostic devices
  • Neurological and surgical devices
  • Ophthalmic and optical devices
  • Orthopedic and fracture devices
  • Rehabilitation equipment
  • Therapeutic respiration devices
  • Ultrasound and X-ray devices
  • Health information technology


Thailand’s population is aging rapidly and the country has the 2nd most aged society in ASEAN after Singapore.  Currently, 20 percent of Thais are older than 60 years old, and by 2030, approximately one-third of the Thai population will be over 60 years old.  Out of 12 million elderly people, 700,000 have dementia. The National Statistical Office of Thailand has forecasted that by 2035, the country will become a super-aged society, with 30 percent of the population over 60 years old.  This offers given ample business opportunities for products and services for the elderly, valued at approximately $2.8 billion.

The Thai government plans to turn Phuket into a world-class hub of medical tourism by 2028.  Phuket will construct an international medical tourism complex called “Medical Plaza.”  The Medical Plaza project comprises a one-stop medical center operated by Vachira Phuket Hospital and a 5,000-capacity multipurpose convention center. Construction of the medical center is expected to finish by 2026.  The center’s services include geriatric and palliative care, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and international healthcare.

Several public hospitals in Thailand are in the process of reviewing their current electronic medical records (EMR) and considering migrating to a better system.  Consequently, it should be optimal timing for U.S. EMR companies including Epic Systems Corporation, Cerner, InterSystems, and other SME suppliers to explore this business opportunity.

In 2019, the Thai government launched the five-year Genomics Thailand Project, with the first phase to sequence the genomes of 50,000 Thai individuals within five disease groups: cancer, rare diseases, non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases, and pharmacogenomics.  The country aims to build infrastructure to harness genomic information and provide a bioinformatics platform for both researchers and healthcare service personnel to access genome analysis tools. 

One long-term goal is to gain better preventative information and provide better health outcomes for Southeast Asian populations.  Currently, the Genomics Thailand Consortium has more than 40 participating national agencies, institutes, medical schools, and hospitals. The first phase of cataloging 50,000 human whole genome sequences is expected to be complete in 2025.  The Project plans to integrate genomic medicine into the health system so that it will raise the standard of healthcare.