The Thai Tourism and Sports Ministry plans to make compulsory measures for all foreign tourists to have travel insurance before entering the country because unpaid bills are putting a huge strain on cash-strapped public hospitals.

Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak was cited by The Nation that the ministry was ready to implement measures to cut down foreign tourists' unpaid medical bills that cost the country more than 200 million THB (6.45 million USD) annually.

This will first be applied to tourists who apply for visa at Thai diplomatic missions overseas, in which each person is required to buy a 500 THB insurance package.

However, the ministry has yet to decide whether this will apply to those who do not need a visa to enter the country.

Tourists coming to Thailand on tour packages are also required to buy travel insurance, which allows them to claim 1 million THB for death and up to 500,000 THB for injuries, said President of the Association of Domestic Travel, Yuthachai Soonthronrattnavate.

According to the ministry's data, up to 6.19 million tourists, or about 28 percent of the total 22.35 million visitors, came to Thailand as part of a tour package last year.

The country earned 984 billion THB in revenue from tourism in 2012, and expects to earn as much as 2.2 trillion THB from visitors in 2015.-VNA