Change in government regulations may cause risks. Members of the Social Security Fund (SSF) may opt for receiving medical treatment at a private hospital holding a contract with the SSF without having to bear any expense. The private hospital can later claim the expenses from the SSF. However, the SSF is just a central unit to manage the fund, but the hospital business is under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Health or other government agencies. Any newly issued regulations may pose risks to the business of the hospitals with contracts with SSF. For example, when claims of refund are not duly paid, the hospital’s financial performance could be impacted. Therefore, the hospital needs to have a healthy cash flow in order to be least affected by a slow refund from the government and survive.
Risks Related to Medical Personnel Management
As Thailand is starting to become an ageing society, skilled personnel, be they physicians, nurses, pharmacists, or medical technicians are in demand for the hospital business. The business not only relies on the public sector to produce medical personnel through policies and regulations related to public health, but also has to offer competitive pays for these personnel to retain them. As well, the hospital has to allocate budget for personnel training to support general development and enhance their special skills while giving them opportunities to grow in their career paths. Staff compensation is to be reviewed to ensure competitiveness with the industry and particularly with businesses in the vicinity to prevent brain drain. The hospital has to invest in staff welfare by offering accommodation in the hospital vicinity to provide safety and convenience for staff travelling to work.
Risks from Hospital Business Competition
The overall hospital business still saw strong growth potential in the recent years, with the medical tourism sector making the fastest growth. Consumers can access faster service thanks to the intense competition. Recruitment of physicians of the desired quality and a higher number of doctors are needed to provide more alternatives for patients.
A visit to the doctor is inevitable when one gets sick, so the hospital business has ample room for continuous growth. However, hospitals are segmented into those middle-end and high-end ones, as well as those managed in the form of one main single hospital and a network hospital.
Aikchol is positioned as an alternative for people residing in ChonBuri and in the eastern region. It stresses medical service quality for all patients, including those under health insurance, those with cash payment, those under the Workmen’s Compensation Fund, those under company welfare, and those under the Social Security Fund.
According to the National Statistical Office, it is foreseen that Thailand will become a complete ageing society in 2021. In 2018 the elderly group accounted for 15% of the total population, or 10 million persons. A higher number of the elderly implies a higher number of patients. Urbanization in Thailand may soon become saturated, and residential areas may start to expand into a given major city’s outskirts, evident in the expansion of the city train system and the spread of department stores to provincial towns.
Aikchol has already invested in the IT system to support marketing activities since modern technology can help save administrative costs while eliminating human errors in decision-making.