CHIANG RAI – The Thai government plans to issue a new regulation requiring foreign tourists to buy travel and health insurance before arriving in Thailand.
According to the Bangkok Post, various state agencies on Thursday agreed in principle with the Public Health Ministry’s proposal.
The ministry made the proposal at a meeting with representatives from the Airports of Thailand (AoT), the Royal Thai Police and other related government ministries.
Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong said the ministry proposed the cost of health insurance coverage might be included in visa fees.
Non-visa tourists might have to pay for their health insurance coverage at immigration checkpoints or the fees could be added to the cost of airline tickets, he said.
Pradit said the meeting agreed on setting up a sub-committee to work on the issue and decide on the level and type of insurance coverage that would be required for tourists in cases of emergency care and the return of dead bodies.
The Thai government was concerned about the financial burden on the country’s state hospitals which now provide free medical services to foreign tourists, Pradit said, adding that state hospitals in popular tourist areas were shouldering much of the burden.