BNH Hospital Attracts a Growing Number of Chinese Patients
Bangkok’s BNH Hospital, one of the leading players in Thailand’s ever-expanding medical tourism and wellness industry, has been attracting an increasing number of Chinese patients. This growth in the number of Chinese patients is the result of years of determined effort, investment and marketing, all aimed at making BNH attractive to Chinese patients seeking alternatives to medical care in their own country.
While Chinese patients might visit BNH for any medical reason, just like those of any other nationality, BNH is particular popular among Chinese patients for fertility and ob-gyn services. Perhaps one reason for this is that BNH has built a special wing to cater specifically to Chinese patients, where, naturally, all signage is in Chinese and all staff can speak Chinese. On a recent tour the other day, it was hard not to notice the care that had been lavished on the stylish and comfortable design of the wing (of course, this is true of the entire hospital, which has recently undergone a massive renovation).
In addition to a special wing for reproductive services for Chinese patients, the hospital employs four Chinese-Thai interpreters. In addition, one of the ob-gyn physicians at BNH speaks Chinese as well as Thai. BNH also offers food options that cater specially to Chinese dietary preferences and requirements.
Among the most popular services offered at BNH for Chinese patients are in vitro fertilization and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PDG and IVF is popular with some women who have suffered miscarriages because some miscarriages are chromosomally related, making close genetic screening an appealing proposition.
Like some other large international hospitals in Bangkok, BNH is a “destination hospital” to which international patients come specifically to receive medical care. These patients are sometimes referred to as “fly-in patients”. Among the “fly-in patients” at BNH, about 70-80% are from mainland China, according to Ms. Emily Soo, Head of the Chinese Marketing Unit, Overseas Marketing Department at BNH Hospital.
For Chinese patients considering receiving IVF at BNH, Ms. Soo notes that an average cycle (course) of IVF takes 3-4 weeks. Naturally, it is not necessary to stay at the hospital during this time. Fortunately, BNH is well-located on Soi Convent, in Bangkok’s central Silom District, which is packed with both Thai and international restaurants and is very close to both the BTS and MRT rail lines.
Of course, not all Chinese patients (nor patients of other nationalities) visit BNH for fertility services. Medical check-up services are also very popular and the area where these check-ups are conducted feels more like the lounge of a first class hotel rather than the waiting room of a major hospital.
In addition, an increasing number of patients, including Chinese patients, are interested in the anti-aging services, treatments and counseling offered by BNH, which is a leader in this field. Here, various tests are conducted and samples are drawn from patients and specific dietary and lifestyle recommendations are made that are based on the patient’s specific genetic and physical condition, all with the aim of increasing not only longevity, but quality of life.
All in all, after touring the pristine facilities at BNH and learning about the services offered, it’s hardly surprising that a growing number of Chinese patients, as well as patients from many other countries, are choosing BNH as their destination hospital in Thailand.
By Chris Rowthorn, China Travel Trends South East Correspondent