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Living in Bangkok: Healthcare, An Expat’s Guide

Living in Bangkok: Healthcare, An Expat’s Guide

Do you have plans to travel to Thailand? Are you getting ready to move to Bangkok? One way to make sure that you have a safe and happy experience is to arrive with a good understanding of what healthcare options are available to you in the city. In this article, Expatmedicare examines some of the common things you should consider as you plan your trip or move to Bangkok.

Healthcare Facilities in Bangkok

Thailand has been a leader in the region for providing their nationals with a quality public healthcare system. Within the country's developed healthcare system, Bangkok offers a range of healthcare facilities, both private and public. Thailand's Ministry of Public Health overseas all the country's hospitals and clinics. The Medical Registration Division under the MOPH's Department of Health Service Support is specially designed to regulate the private sector facilities.

Public hospitals

Thailand has made great strides and passed many reforms to improve its healthcare system, and these initiatives are seen in the quality of the capital's public hospitals. While some of the city's public hospitals may not be as inviting or comfortable as private facilities, more and more are offering high quality care. It's important to know that patients may face long wait times and less- than cheerful staff, but costs are lower than at private facilities. Some public hospitals and clinic will accept international health insurance, but it's advisable to check first with the facility and/or your insurer before you seek treatment.

One of the city's oldest hospitals also remains one of its top public hospitals, Bangkok Christian Hospital. The hospital was founded by the American Presbyterian Mission and the Church of Christ in Thailand and was inaugurated in 1949. It remains a top choice for expatriates in Bangkok as the level of care is comparable to private facilities but at a lower cost. They offer a range of specialty services, from dermatology to internal medicine, radiology to pediatrics.

Private hospitals

While the city offers many quality public hospitals where the level of care is satisfactory, there are also many private hospitals that provide higher levels of care. Many of the doctors and staff at these hospitals and clinics have studied and received degrees and accreditation in western countries. The costs of the services at some private facilities may be lower than typical medical costs in western countries, but it is always best to check with the hospital or clinic first as prices for their services can also vary. It is still advisable to obtain international health insurance coverage in the event of an accident or unexpected emergency.

Bangkok boasts South East Asia's largest private hospital, Bumrungrad International.This hospital was founded in 1980 and has grown to offer services for 30 different specialities. The staff at Bumrungrad are multilingual and many speak fluent English. In addition to a highly knowledgeable staff, hospitals boasts state-of-the-art, modern equipment and has received many international accreditations.

Bangkok Hospital was founded in 1972, and since Bangkok Hospital has grown into a group of more than 13 hospitals and medical facilities located throughout the country. The Bangkok Hospital Group not only provides facilities with modern equipment and highly educated staff, but they also operate many specialty centers. In the 40 years since it began as a single hospital, the group has been accredited by many international agencies for the services it provides.

Another top private hospital in Bangkok is Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital, more commonly known as BNH Hospital. BNH, which first opened in 1898, originally served as a hospital for elderly expats in Thailand, but in the 1990s became a private facility. BNH has been the recipient of many awards throughout its more than 100-year history, and has also received noteworthy international accreditations. They boast a range of specialty clinics, and have been expanding their services at a rate of two new specialty clinics per year.

Medical tourism

Known around the world as a top destination for those looking for an exotic getaway, Thailand, and Bangkok, is becoming an increasingly popular medical tourism destination. The city's hospitals and medical facilities have learned from the country's already well-known customer service culture and are beginning to capitalize on the market for medical tourism. It's private hospitals and clinics are the main facilities for medical tourism, and the cost is still significantly lower than the cost of treatment in other countries.

Some of the more common medical procedures include cosmetic surgery, LASIK corrective eye surgery and dentistry procedures. As the country continues to improve its healthcare system and more people come to Thailand for medical tourism, more serious procedures, like check-ups, heart surgeries and IVF, have become increasingly popular.

The city's many high-quality private healthcare facilities offer special packages specifically to those looking to travel to the city for their treatment and some are even able to assist with visa extension procedures in the event that their patients have to stay longer.

International health insurance in Bangkok, Thailand

When travelling or moving to Bangkok, it is advisable to obtain private medical insurance. If you are posted there by your company, check with your HR to ensure that your group medical insurance policy provides you and your loved ones a comprehensive coverage. Also, check if it includes expat maternity insurance and/or dental coverage.

If you have to manage your own individual health insurance, you will quickly realize that there are many products out there catering to the many different needs of expats. Choosing the right one can be very challenging, so it is a good idea to engage the help of an international health insurance broker who will be able to provide free consultation and advice and help you choose the best health insurance policy for you and your loved ones.

List of Hospitals in Bangkok

Bangkok Christian Hospital
124 Silom Road, Bangruk Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66-2235-1000, +66-2233-6981-9

Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
Address: 488 Srinakarin Road, Suanluang, Bangkok 10250 Tel: +66(02) 3789 176

Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
Address: 133 Sukhumvit 49, Klongtan Nua Vadhana, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (02) 7118 874

Bangkok Hospital Medical Centre
Address: 2 Soi Soovijai 7, New Petcjbiro Road, Bangkapi Huay Khwang, Bangkok 10310 Tel: +66 (02) 3103 000, 2310 1719

BNH Hospital
Address: 2 Soi soonvijai 7, New Petchburi Road, Bangkok 1031 Tel: +66 (02) 6862 700

Bumrungrad Hospital
Address: 33 Sukhumvit 3, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (02) 6671 000

Kasemrad Hospital
Address: 950 Prachachuen Road, 10800 Bangkok Tel: +66 (02) 9101 600

Saint Louis Hospital
Address: 205 South Sathorn Road, Yan Nawa, Bangkok 10120 Tel: +66 (02) 2109 999

Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
Address: 488 Srinakarin road, Suanluang, Bangkok 10250 Tel: +66 (02) 3789 000

Samitivej Sukumvit Hospital
Address: 133 Sukhumvit 49, Klongtan Nua, Vadhana, Bangkok 10110 Tel: +66 (02) 7118 000