The issue of rising costs of unpaid medical bills by tourists in Phuket has been raised again at a recent meeting, and Phuket's governor has vowed to push for mandatory travel insurance for all visitors.
"If a tourist is not covered by insurance in their home country, they are setting themselves up for a difficult situation if they get injured while on holiday here," said governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada.
"This is a very important issue, which I will raise with the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of tourism and sports."
A number of initiatives have been launched to combat the problem in recent years, such as Thailand Travel Shield, a special online insurance scheme backed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Other schemes which never took off included a THB500 levy for all arriving tourists in Thailand, which would have been used to pay off outstanding bills.
However governor Chamroen favours a rule requiring all tourists entering Thailand by air to have their own insurance.
"We need to have better coordination with the country of departure. Perhaps asking airlines to include insurance for foreigners booking tickets to Thailand would simplify the process. You would end up paying more, but you could save yourself form serious financial trouble," Chamroen said.
"Though making such changes is above my authority, I will do my best as the governor of Phuket to drive any necessary changes forward."