Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Plc (BGH), the country's largest hospital chain, plans to take over 20 hospitals by late 2014, taking its number of hospitals to 50.
Targeted hospitals must have sound financial performance and their locations should not overlap with hospitals under BGH's umbrella, said chief operating officer for medical affairs and vice-president Chatree Duangnet.
The company is expected to take over at least one hospital in the final quarter of this year.
BGH has set this year's investment budget at 7 billion baht, with 3 billion already spent in the first half.
It is maintaining its 12-13% revenue growth target this year to 52 billion baht, with 12% profit growth from 7.9 billion baht last year.
Mr Chatree said BGH is seeking approval from Myanmar's government to hold a 70% stake in hospitals there. Myanmar currently limits foreign ownership to 51%.
"Myanmar is our priority for business expansion in the Greater Mekong Subregion, while Cambodia and Laos are second and third," he said.
The Greater Mekong Subregion has high potential growth for health care due to insufficient public services, medical professionals and advanced technology. The wealth of its population is increasing rapidly.
BGH's board has approved a plan for Singapore-based subsidiary N Health Asia Pte Ltd to set up subsidiaries in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos to support its hospital operations there.
With the launch of the Asean Economic Community in late 2015, the single market of 10 nations will boost health-care growth and Thailand could take advantage due to its geographical location, Mr Chatree said.
However, he expressed concern that Thailand may lose medical workers to neighbouring countries that offer much higher salaries.
BGH's shares yesterday rose by six baht on the Stock Exchange of Thailand to close the market at 126 baht in trade worth 507.66 million baht.
About the author
- Writer: Nuntawun Polkuamdee
Position: Business Reporter