SET-listed Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS) is monitoring the conflict in the Middle East, but remains optimistic about growth following the launch of a health application to support its non-hospital business.
The group is trying to gauge how the attacks could affect overseas patients from the Middle East or Gulf Cooperation Council states, said Smith Prasarttong-Osoth, chief executive of Health Plaza, a subsidiary of BDMS.
The global economic uncertainty, China’s economic woes and the mainland’s domestic tourism push could affect the number of patients, said Mr Smith.
BDMS operates over 58 hospitals in Thailand and Cambodia, across various facilities such as Bangkok Hospital, Samitivej Hospital and Phyathai Hospital.
The company employs more than 12,000 doctors and has 8,600 registered beds. The group aims to expand capacity to more than 9,000 beds from 2025 to 2027.
Meanwhile, to expand growth in the non-hospital segment, Mr Smith said the group planned to annually open about 10 drug stores under the “Save Drug” brand, on top of around 80 drug stores today.
BDMS has also launched a new digital healthcare platform called BeDee, with an investment of around 300 million baht.
“While hospitals across BDMS already treat around 5-6 million patients per year, BeDee is expected not only to serve hospital patients, but also expand to other users among the healthcare market to be able to receive quality treatment,” said Mr Smith.
The app offers teleconsultation from physicians across hospitals under BDMS, telepharmacy from pharmacists and a health mall, selling wellness and medical products, including specific disease products.
Where drugstore expansion is not suitable, BeDee will also help assist the growth as an online medical service, said Mr Smith.
According to BDMS, Thailand’s digital healthcare market has been significantly growing every year. It is expected to reach 28.2 million users by 2028, from 20.6 million users in 2022.
Mr Smith said it aims to gain at least 30-40% of the total market by 2025.
Although about 40% of app users are believed to be patients, 50% of users would be those who seek preventive healthcare, and another 10% would be senior customers.
Amid the rising medical tourism trend, it also targets expatriates in Thailand as well as foreign tourists.
On BeDee, the online specialised doctor consultation starts from 499 baht per session, while general practice starts from 299 baht per session.