Private hospitals see 15% drop in patients due to prolonged sluggish KBank launches Cycle of Care to ease burden of hospital bills

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Monday March 28, 2016 15:34

KASIKORNBANK encourages Thais to stay healthy by introducing a credit-card campaign offering various privileges, e.g., 30-percent discount on patient room rates, one-fee health checkup, and zero-percent interest for up to 10 months on packages at participating hospitals. The initiative is expected to stimulate credit card spending for healthcare and medical treatments by 15 percent to 24 billion Baht.

Ms. Sudrutai Thongsong, KASIKORNBANK Credit Card and Debit Card Product Management and Marketing Department Head, said the prolonged sluggishness in the economy has prompted Thais to be cautious in spending on basic needs like healthcare, particularly for visits to private hospitals. Middle-income segment consumers have increasingly opted to visit state hospitals, utilize social security benefits, or purchase medicine from pharmacists directly. As a result, visits to private hospitals by Thai consumers dropped 15 percent over the past year.

Given this, KASIKORNBANK and leading hospitals across the country launched the "Cycle of Care 2016: Good Health for All with K-Credit Card and K-Debit Card" campaign to help ease the burden of healthcare costs and enable Thais to receive quality medical treatment at Thailand's leading hospitals. Holders of K-Credit and K-Debit Cards will receive special privileges when paying bills with KBank cards at major hospitals and their subsidiaries, such as Bangkok Hospital, Samitivej Hospital, Kasemrad Hospital, Phyathai Hospital, and BNH. Privileges include discounts of up to 30 percent on patient room rates, up to 10 percent on prescription medicine costs, a health checkup program at 2,559 Baht, and special prices on other health check packages at participating medical facilities. Moreover, KBank Smart Pay with zero percent interest for up to 10 months is available when paying with K-Credit Cards at more than 100 hospitals and dental clinics throughout Thailand from today until December 31, 2016.

Spending on healthcare and medical treatments through K-Credit Card is continually rising. In 2015, bill payments in this category grew 8 percent YoY to total 20 billion Baht, with the average bill at around 7,000 Baht, while growth in 2016 is expected to increase 15 percent to about 24 billion Baht.

Ms. Sudrutai added that medical treatment is one of the four basic needs and is a necessity for Thai people. With this care for customers, the Bank is cooperating with numerous leading hospitals to launch the campaign "Cycle of Care 2016: Good Health for All with K-Credit Card and K-Debit Card", aimed at easing the cost burden of hospital visits and encouraging all cardholders to accept quality medical treatments. This initiative is in line with K-Credit Card and K-Debit Card strategies to accommodate the needs of all cardholder segments.

Meanwhile, KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER (KResearch) anticipated that the total uptake of credit cards may show growth 8-10 percent in 2015, despite limited growth in spending via credit cards as some spending activities were committed by existing customers. In addition, consumers will likely remain cautious in their spending habits in 2016. KResearch also expects the credit card market to grow 8.5-9.5 percent this year, in line with data concerning spending via credit cards on healthcare and medical treatments among

K-Credit Cardholders in January 2016, against the 9-percent growth of 2015.

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