Bangkok (NNT/VNA) – The Thai government plans to turn the country into a medical hub for foreign tourists through the extension of long-stay visa for visitors.

Deputy Prime Ministers Tanasak Patimapragon and Narong Pipatanasai has held a press conference on the extension of a maximum period of 90 days for patients and followers from CLMV countries and China, and the extension of Long Stay Visa holders.

Gen Tanasak said the government has given top priority on the promotion of medical care and wellness tourism promotion to push Thailand as a global medical hub by enhancing services at all levels of healthcare facilities, and providing special stay permit for visitors receiving medical services.

Adm Narong said Thailand has seen an increase in the number of foreign visitors to receive medical services as Thailand provides high standard medical services, however visitors may face visa restrictions, hence the new stay allowance that now allows visitors from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and China visiting to receive medical services as well as their followers to stay in the kingdom for a maximum of 90 days.

The allowance previously was given to medical visitors from Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

The government is also considering extending the maximum limit for Long Stay Visa to 10 years for visitors from 14 countries, with the validity being five years when issued but can be extended for another five years.

Meanwhile, the minister of Tourism and Sports, and the minister of Public Health assured of plans to develop Thailand's medical tourism capabilities and praised all agencies involved for implementing the Medical Hub policy.-VNA