The domestic medical device market in Thailand is forecasted to be worth US$2.0 billion in 2022, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.5% between 2018 and 2022F according to a report published by KPMG based on figures sourced from Fitch Solutions reports.
Thailand’s medical device exports were valued at US$1.1 billion in 2018 with the main export market being the USA, in comparison to medical device imports of US$1.2 billion according to KPMG. Thailand is a major importer of orthopaedic and prosthetic devices.
Thailand is home to around 500 medical device manufacturers from small to medium sized enterprises to multinational corporations
Thailand is also becoming a focus for medical robotics thanks to the Thai Board of Investment’s range of investment promotion incentives for the local manufacture of medical robotics
Overall, the market attractiveness for medical device companies considering entering the Thai market is high in terms of the regulatory landscape, the distribution network and innovation according to KPMG.
What’s more low unemployment rates and low inflation combined with growth in an ageing population makes Thailand an attractive market for medical devices.
Regulatory authority and laws governing medical devices in Thailand
Medical devices are regulated by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the of the Ministry of Public Health. The main role of the Thai FDA is to protect consumers’ health, in particular, to ensure the safety, quality and efficacy of health products within its remit, including foods, drugs, narcotics, medical devices, cosmetics, hazardous substances and herbal products. The main act applicable to medical devices is the Medical Devices Act B.E. 2551 (2008).
Thailand’s healthcare system
Healthcare spending in Thailand is expected to reach US$24.6 billion in 2023 which represents 4.0% of Gross Domestic Product with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.4% between 2014 and 2023 according to KPMG which is accounted for by growth in both healthcare and the medical devices market.
Thailand introduced universal healthcare for its population in 2002. This is provided through a network of over 900 government hospitals and nearly 10000 government health centres.
The public healthcare system is supplemented by over 350 private hospitals and over 25000 private clinics.
According to the CEOWorld magazine Health Care Index, Thailand ranks 6th out of 89 countries, ahead of Spain (7th) and France (8th). The ranking takes into account measures such as health care infrastructure; health care professionals’ competencies; cost; quality medicine availability, and government readiness.
Thailand is in fierce competition with Singapore and Malaysia to become the health service hub in ASEAN.
Thailand was the world’s fourth largest medical tourism destination in 2017 according to Pharmaboardroom with a market value of US$600 million with over 3.5 million medical tourists per year.
Medical tourism is expected to grow annually by 14%.