Last Updated on 13 Mar 2023

Foreigners employed as hospital workforce in Thailand.


The Aims of the present descriptive study of foreigners being employed as hospital workforce in Thailand were to explore the characteristics of foreign hospital employees, factors influencing decision making of foreigners seeking employment in Thailand, the process of being employed as foreign hospital employees, and problems or obstacles encountered while working in Thailand. One hundred foreign hospital employees in both government and private hospitals in Thailand were recruited using snowball sampling. A questionnaire was used for data collection. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, including frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation. The results revealed that most participants were females with the mean age of 31.23 years. One-third of foreign hospital employees were the Filipinos. Success factors of being employed in Thailand included level of education (68%), competencies/special skills in needed fields (64%), and ability to communicate in Thai (55%). Factors influencing foreigners making decision to work in Thailand covered both push factors (such as low wages, limited career progression, unfair benefits, and high living expenses) and pull factors (including gaining new experience, job opportunities, and opportunity to improve career). The processes for being employed as foreign hospital employees included 1) preparation phase: foreigners prepared on language, working knowledge and employment laws, and health check-ups 2) application phase: most foreigners applied for a job themselves after receiving information. A tourist visa was initially granted at first arrival in Thailand and then changed to a non-immigrant visa “B”. The expenses of application phase included a visa, passport, work permit, and travel. Most participants (93%) were working as medical service assistants, such as interpreters and 7% were qualified to work as health care providers as described under the mutual recognition arrangement (MRA). Communication in Thai, adjusting to social and cultural differences, unfair wage, visa and work permit renewal were indicated as problems or obstacles encountered while working in Thailand. The recommendations from the present research were as follows: 1) stakeholders should revise the process of work permit renewal, and MRA; 2) the organization or employer should provide a basic training program in healthcare competencies, and improve workplace culture, including setting up appropriate remuneration system as international standard and equity basis.

Domestic Journal
Journal of Health Systems Research 2018;12:292-305.
Wongchum R , LeSeure P , Songsiri O , Janthanakul P , Charoenkitkarn V , Akaleephan C
Wongchum R.