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Visa-free medical travel period tripled by Thais

Thai doctors perform a fertility treatment at the Jetanin Institute in Bangkok. Thai authorities recently announced that Cambodians can stay in Thailand up to 90 days without a visa for medical treatments.
Thai doctors perform a fertility treatment at the Jetanin Institute in Bangkok. Thai authorities recently announced that Cambodians can stay in Thailand up to 90 days without a visa for medical treatments. Saeed Khan/AFP

Visa-free medical travel period tripled by Thais

The Thai government on Wednesday publicly announced that nationals of five countries, including Cambodia, can visit Thailand for up to 90 days without a visa to seek medical treatment, an official at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh said yesterday.

Though the new measures went into effect on March 15, they were only publicly announced on Wednesday during a press conference. Previously, the window was 30 days.

Nationals from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and China can seek treatment at 160 hospitals in Thailand.

“The patients, however, are required to inform the hospital where the treatment would take place in advance,” the official wrote in an email. “The hospital would have to send supporting documents and inform the concerned agencies, including the Immigration Division before the patient’s arrival.”

The new regulation also allows up to three individuals related to patients, such as parents, children and spouses, to accompany them for 90 days without a visa as well, the official said.

A press release yesterday from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health says the new measures are in response to the country’s ambition of becoming an “international medical hub”.

Chum Sounry, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cambodia, said he wasn’t yet aware of the new measures, though it was “good news” for Cambodians. He didn’t know about how many Cambodians might seek medical treatment in Thailand annually.

Ly Sovann, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, referred questions to another spokesperson, who couldn’t be reached.

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