Visiting the Doctor in Thailand

 

 

Thailand has become a major medical tourism destination. Bangkok is considered Thailand’s medical tourism hub where infrastructure is more developed and hospitals are world-renowned.

Standard medical facilities vary greatly depending on the location. Outside Bangkok, medical services are below standard, especially in rural areas.

The top three hospitals in Bangkok are Bumrungrad Hospital, Bangkok General, and the Samitivej Group of Hospitals. Most of the hospitals have active websites where one can search for a doctor and arrange for appointments.

Doctors in Thailand speak good English and most of the medical staff received education and accreditations from the west. Walk in services are available in hospitals and clinics. A typical consultation with a private doctor is THB 469.00 (about USD$15.00).

Foreigners are not covered by the state health insurance. Expats can visit a public hospital but will have to pay for the treatment. Most expats opt to have private insurance to access excellent medical facilities in the private health care sector. Prior to relocating, ensure you have international health insurance in Thailand that will provide full coverage.

One of the emerging issues concerning Thailand's healthcare system is the availability of doctors. Doctors do not work fulltime as most doctors are also specialists, and they do not have a specific place of work. They are assigned in different hospitals to perform rounds or other medical procedures like surgery. For patients with minor illness, they tend to get instructions by calling their Doctor, or from a nursing staff. Many expat patients prefer to go to neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia for treatment.