Thailand considers compulsory travel insurance

2013-08-14 08:51
Bangkok - Thailand is studying the possibility of making travel insurance compulsory for all tourists entering the kingdom to cope with mounting unpaid medical bills at public hospitals, officials confirmed Tuesday.

"The proposal is under study," said Tourism and Sports Ministry spokesman Chatuwon Pakdiwanit. "We need to work out the details with the Health Ministry, so it will probably take some time."

Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureerisak told The Nation newspaper that the regulation was necessary to deal with unpaid medical bills at public hospitals amounting to an estimated 200 million baht (R63m at R0.32/baht) a year.

Luzi Matzig, director of travel company Asian Trails, said the idea was "a ridiculous project." He noted that Thailand earned an estimated 984 billion baht (R314bn) in revenue from foreign tourists last year, and said 6.7 million dollars in unpaid hospital bills was a small price to pay compared with the possibility that a change in policy could deter people from visiting Thailand.

Read more on:    thailand  |  travel  |  travel international

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