Healthcare industry in focus
BOI offers more incentives to encourage rapid development


The Board of Investment (BOI) has made a major move to promote healthcare industry investment by expanding the scope of activities eligible for promotion to cover hospitals, rehabilitation services, specialised medical service, medical technology services and medical logistics, and offering additional incentives to promote more investment in hope of helping to upgrade the country?s medical technology.

Mr. Chaiwuti Bannawat, Minister of Industry, said that the board of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI), chaired by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, approved the BOI?s plan to upgrade its incentive offerings for healthcare industry investment projects. The move will support the country?s competitive strategy that focuses on healthcare industry development.

The new incentives include redefining the scope of ?hospital business? as ?healthcare-related business? in order to cover five other businesses as follows:

1. Hospitals: the current condition covers only hospitals with more than 50 beds. The new measure will cover hospitals with more than 30 beds, which is in line with the minimum condition set by the Ministry of Public Health.

2. Rehabilitation service business: At present, the country still lacks qualified rehabilitation service centers which provide physical and mental rehabilitation services to their own patients or to patients referred from other departments. Since at present this medical service is only provided in large scale hospital, the government considers that this segment should be promoted.

3. Specialised medical service: This is to promote Thailand as the hub for specialised medical services, such as cancer, heart and allergy centers.

4. Medical technology service: This is aimed at promoting cooperation and sharing of high-value medical equipment among hospitals. The list of medical equipment included under this condition will be provided by BOI.

5. Medical logistics service: This is to promote the availability of providers of specialised logistics services for efficient patient or medical staff transport.

These five kinds of businesses will be granted corporate tax exemption for 5-8 years according to their locations in order to avoid problems related to medical personnel. The corporate tax exemption is limited to 100 per cent of total investment value. These businesses will also receive import duty exemption privileges on all imported machinery or equipment throughout the project lifecycle because medical technology changes quickly.

Mr. Bannawat added that the meeting also approved incentives for existing hospital upgrade projects. This includes the import of more technologically advanced medical equipment for use within a hospital. This condition is applicable to all existing hospitals, be it BOI-promoted or non-BOI promoted.

Hospitals currently promoted by the BOI may apply for new incentives under this program once their corporate income tax exemption period ends. Hospitals without corporate income tax exemption incentive are also eligible for this incentive. Interested hospitals must present their medical equipment and machine upgrade plan together with their application by December 31, 2012. The projects must be completed within three years after the issuance of the investment promotion certificates. The approved projects will enjoy import duty exemption on machinery and three-year corporate income tax exemption on the existing business operation for no more than 70 per cent of the total investment (excluding land and revolving capital). They will also enjoy corporate income tax exemption.

The meeting also assigned concerned government authorities, such as the Ministry of Public Health, the Immigration Department, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education to facilitate and provide assistance needed. For example, concerned government agencies should help solve problems related to the transporting of patients in critical condition into the country and encouraging private hospitals to offer courses in Medicine.

Source : BOI 

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