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How good is Thailand healthcare?


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My experience is limited to what happened to myself: myocardial infarct in LOS, May 2000.

Transferred to Bumrungrad, diagnosed "needing 4 bypasses" there, but can not be done within 4 weeks after infarct. My insurance company sent a cardiologist over from Europe and I was flown over to my hometown university hospital with worldwide reputation in cardiology where I got angioplasty (stent implants)Bypass, wow they said, that would have been the solution a few years ago.


The irony is that two of the Bumrungrad cardiologist were trained at my hometown university and I chat a lot about them with the medical staff in my hometown and they did remember them very well (they were hiso also). It was clear to me Bumrungrad was behind technology wise. I hope they catched up in the mean time.

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I have been to hospitals in Thailand and in the USA. Thailands wins! Some of the hospitals in the USA are almost impossible to get medical care unless you are dying.


Thailands wins!

Well, Good Luck to you... You may need it...


For me, I will continue to pay, my $8000. per year for Health Care Insurance, and be on the first flight out, if I need, anything besides minor medical help.

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I have had nothing but positive experiences, and I was quite skeptical at the outset.


I do patronize Bumrungrad, and that big lasix joint in the U Chu Lian building opposite from Lumpini Park. Very smooth, very competent, very quick. And by Western standards, cheap.


I am aware of the Bumrungrad horror stories. Like I said, I was skeptical.


When you compare the cost of health care in Thailand with the cost of insurance back in the West, and when you compare the courteous service that you receive with the packed emergency rooms in the West, Thailand wins hands down.


My opinion. I sure do hope that I never have to revise it.



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>I have had nothing but positive experiences, and I was quite skeptical at the outset.


As I tried to point out earlier, we are "consumers" of the *very* top end of the Thai health system. There is a *huge* difference between the top layer and the "bottom" layer. The top (international) hospitals are, in general very very good. The top "thai" hospitals are also pretty good (Siriraj and a few other bangkok hospitals). The "standard" thai hospitals, and particularly the standard "up country" hospitals are very, very very very bad.


In the better hospitals (international, top thai), many of the docs will have been trained entirely or partly overseas, and Thailand does spend a fair bit of cash in sending its docs overseas for training.


However, the standard of medical care in, say, Singapore is way above Thailand -although much, much more expensive than thaialnd.


Compared to America, the heath care here is remarkably cheap - for what you get. The "top" medical care in Thailand does not match the theoretical "top" care in USA. Stuff like "cutting edge" surgery, techniques and innovation are simply not here yet.


Of course, the cost of labour here is cheaper, much much cheaper, and a larg part of medical expenses are due to things like operating staf, nurses etc, which here is peanuts compared to, say USA. "Waiting lists" the curse of much of the west, are simply not here -yet.


The last point to bear in mind is that Thailand, the same as other countries in the area (particularly singapore) *specifically* target "medical tourism" as a major revenue earner and so there is significant governmental support for infrstructure developemnt etc.


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In Thailand you get seen promptly whereas in the USA, you have to wait and wait and wait. Also in the USA, you get sent to specialist after specialist with what appears to be the sole purpose of empting your pockets even further. I have a hard time going to a specialist to only have my blood pressure taken. Also, in the USA, if you have a serious health issue, you may end up a financial basket case, even if you do have insurance.


Doctors and lawyers are the ones who make money in the USA it seems.

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I have one of the best medical policies, ever, with BC/BS, dental, prescriptions everything. Cost is no object.


I don't, as I stated before, trust Bumrungrad. I think they would recommend radical procedures, that were not neccessary, for the money. I also know that Thailand provincial hospitals are not good.


However, if I want to see a doctor or dentist, the same day, in New York it is impossible. In Bkk I can see one within an hour. It can take weeks for your private doctor, even one you have a long time relationship with, to give you an appointment.


The ERs, even in the most respected hospitals in New York, with the best doctors in the world, make you wait for hours, unless you're bleeding, like a homeless person and they treat you like a bum. No matter what your insurance is.


Of course, if you're rich, that's another matter. Guliani's mother was put on a special floor, at Mount Sinai. while mine had to suffer sharing a room with some idiot having fried chicken parties with their extended families. She needed rest not kids rapping. And she had good insurance.


I can see a good doctor, in BKK for the price of my doctor's copayment at home.


Many USA dentists are ripoff artists. I have all my periodontal work done in BKK because in NYC the dentist doesn't even touch you, for $175 up. They have dental hygenists do it with a Cavitron only. No scraping. I'd rather pay out of pocket to have it done here.


I've got travel insurance to evacuate me if I had a stroke or heart problem, mostly because I have insurance, for the long haul there and it would be free and I would be in my home country. But I doubt whether the care would be as good as in Thailand.


Otherwise, I'd be treated here, even if I have to pay.


USA medical care sucks unless you are rick or very lucky to have a sympathetic influential doctor, in an emergency.


If you only have Medicare, or worse, Medicaid, you're screwed.

Try to get the hospital social worker to arrange disposal of your body.


It's a disgrace. Even the "heros" of the Iragi occupation were shown to live in squalor, neglect and with vermin and mold, in Walter Reade Hosptial. In Thailand, a wounded soldier would never be neglected so.


I've been an in patient at Samitivet and Bangkok Pattaya. You won't find a higher level of care in USA.

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Again, this is a loaded question. What does 'good" mean? quality of care, service, cost, competent diagnostic care/treatment, cute nurses, etc?


Medical care is very expensive in the USA, actually cost prohibitive so we mask it with insurance which makes it even more costly. That needs to change because today there are 35 or so million americans who are underinsured or have no coverage at all...


Who has the better average hospital care meaning will they get the appropriate diagnosis and treated approriately? I would think the USA hands down because one would be comparing a US standard community hospital to some provincial hospital.


I think Thailand wins in the "value" side of medical care for farangs who pay out of pocket or with insurance..


If you have some complicated disease or major acute illness, the US with its high tech equipment, analytical/thinking skills and maagement systems in plave AND some smart and very bright people throughout the US health care system gets my vote provided one has comprehensive coverage. It just isn't doctors who have the brains. Having spent 15 years in US hospitals, I have met many sharp cookies (nusres, paramedics, clincal managers/adminstrators, reserach chemists, DHS regulators, engineers, bio-med tech, etc). Since the US H.C. system represents 16% of GDP, it makes sense that there is a lot of bright minds chasing after many dollars....


Since the better Thai doctors get their training in western countries in order to learn how to do procedures, types of equipment and techniques available, exposed to critical thinking skills, peer review processes, etc. Almost all what they learn and apply to western patients have been acquired international or products/equipment discovered in the West, I find it bizarre for people to say a general statement like "medical care is better in LOS than america" I guess one just is basing it on "I got in and out in a hour and got my meds"; my STD was treated and it went away"; I had a outpatient procedure done and there were no complications", etc


I will be the first one to tell you that aa lot of US consumer dollars are wasted covering the excess salaries/benefits of indirect providers/ancillary services, union costs, regulatory costs (a huge cost), and hi-tech/drug research costs, etc...


But I will also tell you that while I have been impressed by the Thai doctors who I have met in a teaching capacity/as a patient, I am equally unimpressed by the other H.C. professionals (mostly) like nurses, nursing students, EMTs (teaching EMTs now) , lab techs, enigneers, adminstrators, etc. They are not the sharpest pencils in the box and thus I would question their training, education, and thus eventual competency/analytical (compared to our expectations) and one would have to combine that with the expected lower Thai standards of medical care/outcomes..


Every situation is different. If I have the flu or a simple case gastroenteritis, even some clear-cut, major surgical procedures; sure BGH or samitevij or even BHI will have a probable high degree of a favorable outcome/ service experience and also not drain me or my insurance provider financially...


BUt if the situation is a near drowning in phuket or a M.I. in a bkk restaurant or fiercy car wreck out in a province compared to similar settings in a US beach resort or major city or out on some country road, I surely would prefer my odds of getting competent care in the field, in transport and at the hospital in the US than in Thailand....


Everyone defines "good" differently, thus one would need to agree upon some common factors/measurable criteria for "apple to apple" comparisons...


For now, it is just one person's experience or opinion which makes no one right or wrong...







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I was taken to the Churchillian hospital in BKK with severe food poisoning once, I was seen by an English speaking doctor straight away and after being diagnosed was wheeled over to the cash desk to pay the bill before being admitted and treated. I have often wondered what would have happened if I had been unable to pay. My experience of Thai medical services have been possitive in terms of quick access to their services and quality of the services rendered, but I would not want to use them for anything more than minor surgery, elective procedures and dentistry. I would not want to rely on the rescue services in Thailand to remove me from a serious motor wreck and get me to a hospital for treatment, I doubt many make it.

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