Thailand offers medical coverage for tourists, step up on safety

International visitors to Thailand will be able to receive medical coverage of up to 500,000 baht (US$13,861) if involved in any accident while holidaying in the country – in the event of death, there will also be a compensation of up to one million baht.

Launched on February 14, this insurance coverage is to assure tourists of their safety when travelling in Thailand, and is part of the government’s new campaign in collaboration with Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) and the National Institute of Emergency Medicine (NIEM) under the Ministry of Public Health.

Thailand will provide medical coverage for tourists who travel in the country between January 1 and August 31 this year (Photo: )

Foreign tourists are eligible for coverage if they have valid passports and are travelling in Thailand between January 1 and August 31, 2024 for the purpose of tourism only.

The Thai government has set aside 50 million baht to fund the scheme in order to ensure tourists’ safety as well as to strengthen the positive image of Thailand as a global holiday destination. The funds will come from the ministry’s budget for emergency expenses and will be used to compensate foreign tourists on a case-by-case basis during their travel in Thailand.

Foreigners with a tourist visa can apply for the coverage by submitting documents at the provincial tourism and sports offices, or at tourist assistance centres located in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports. Applications can also be submitted via post and e-mail.

The maximum coverage is one million baht per person in case of death and 300,000 baht per person for permanent organ loss, loss of sight or permanent disability. Medical expenses will be covered up to a maximum of 500,000 baht. Tourists can claim medical expenses within 15 days of the incident and compensation is expected to be paid 15 days after that.

Tourists will not be eligible for the coverage if the incidents are ruled as risky or careless behaviour, or an intention to participate in illegal activity.

Meanwhile, MOTS has also initiated the Thailand Traveller Safety system for foreign visitors to check if they are eligible to apply for relief.

In addition, NIEM has proposed the establishment of a Tourist Emergency Medical Assistance Centre to facilitate coordination with the MOTS’s Tourist Assistance Center, the Tourist Police Hotline, or the NIEM Hotline to verify tourists’ eligibility for compensation under the scheme in order to refer them to the hospital for medical treatments.

Furthermore, the Tourist Police is operating the existing Command and Control Operation Centre and the Strong Tourism Community initiatives under the guidelines for implementing the Smart Safety Zone project and applying technology to maintain tourist safety such as strict law enforcement, suppressing exploitation of tourists, and fraud incidents.

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