Healthcare in Thailand
Thailand is Renowned for its Excellent Healthcare
Wherever you live in Thailand, you will have access to its excellent healthcare, available throughout the country.
Although there is no public health insurance available to expats, there are several options to obtain private insurance from a variety of excellent companies, both domestic and international, while specialist consultations and common medical procedures are available at a fraction of the cost that you would pay back home.
In fact, because of the low cost of treatment, most expats do not bother with insurance for outpatient care. Inpatient-only coverage combined with a reasonable deductible can result in affordable monthly premiums for most people. Some expats only purchase accident insurance, which is much cheaper than full health coverage. Others forgo medical insurance altogether and rely on the money saved from living abroad for unforeseen medical emergencies.
Thailand’s private healthcare system consists of a large number of well-equipped, state-of-the-art hospitals with English-speaking doctors and nurses. These top-of-the-line operations rival and frequently exceed the standards of North American hospitals, and you’re often able to visit a specialist within a short time of walking through the front door…without booking an appointment beforehand.
As in other countries, the private medical associations vary in size from one hospital to a network of professionally staffed institutions that are scattered throughout the country. The Bangkok Hospital Group, the country’s largest and best-known private hospital operator, has 13 network locations throughout Thailand.
On the other side of the spectrum, the public hospitals are staffed with well-trained doctors and many have the same level of facilities as some of the large private networks—however, they can be quite slow and sometimes crowded. But the public hospitals serve as a less expensive alternative for those expats who do not have insurance or who cannot afford the private hospitals, and many foreigners don’t mind the longer wait times because of the substantially lower fees.
The bottom line is, wherever you decide to live in Thailand, you should be able to find a nearby hospital or clinic that will fit your needs at an affordable price. It’s not surprising that the kingdom has been a destination for medical tourism for so many years.