10 Reasons to Fly to Thailand for Medical Treatment

Medical Tourism in Bangkok

    Traveling to Bangkok for medical treatment is a growing trend thanks to a whole range of factors. Often seen as a place for relaxing in the sun, Thailand is also one of the leading destinations for medical tourism in Asia. Official estimates state that over 1 million people travel to Thailand for treatment every year!

    From orthopaedic spinal surgery to a new set of pearly white teeth, the chance to combine your hospital surgery or treatment with a vacation is seen by many as a far better option than staying home. It makes sense when you consider the vast experience of dealing with foreign visitors, excellent customer service and world-class hospitals in Thailand – in Bangkok, in particular. We’ve summarised 10 reasons why you should consider Thailand for any surgery or treatment.

    1

    Add a treatment while on vacation for just a fraction of the price

    Routine procedures such as health check-ups, colonoscopies or physical therapy are dramatically cheaper when compared to western countries such as the US, and still clearly cheaper than many other places in the world. Plus, it's possible to arrange simple procedures with an Out-Patient Visit so it need not take much time away from enjoying the rest of your vacation.

    2

    Have surgery in one of the world’s best places to spend your recovery time

    If you require more complicated surgery, Thailand still makes a popular place to receive treatment as you have some of the world’s finest beach resorts such as Phuket and Koh Samui on your doorstep. If you had the choice of a miserable winter spent recuperating or relaxing by the pool in 30+°C heat, which would you choose?

    3

    Short waiting times, even for extensive surgeries

    Waiting times are notoriously long in many countries, with simple steps such as an MRI scan sometimes taking as long as a month to arrange. Not in Bangkok, where physical examinations can be done on the same day as admittance into hospital and surgery can be done in as little as 3 days. Of course, you would need to have sent your medical records and details in advance but if speed is a factor, Bangkok is a great place for treatment.

    4

    The price

    When it comes to your health, the price should never be your first concern. However, no one likes to waste money. The lower cost of like-for-like treatments in Bangkok versus most western countries is certainly one of the main factors that keeps it so popular. Exact costs are difficult to provide because each person’s needs are unique, but a general rule is that treatment prices are 30% cheaper than in Europe and 70% cheaper than the US.

    5

    Highly experienced doctors with international experience

    It's very common for Thai doctors to study abroad, where they'll acquire new skills and witness the different approaches to medicine in places like the US, Germany or Japan. When they return to work in hospitals in Thailand, their combined international experience and added skills insure Thailand is at the forefront of medical techniques and innovation.

    6

    Top Bangkok hospitals are like luxury hotels

    Forget everything you know of dull hospitals with strip lights and an overbearing smell of bleach. In Bangkok hospitals, the décor is as fancy as top-end hotels, with grand chandeliers, a choice of restaurants and sometimes even live pianists performing for the waiting room. It certainly helps to calm any anxieties patients may be feeling and makes for a far better experience for visiting loved ones.

    photo by Supanut Arunoprayote (CC BY 4.0) modified

    7

    First-class dentistry

    As one of the most popular treatments in Bangkok, dentistry is an area of medicine many people want to know more about. At most top hospitals, doctors prefer to do all the follow-up work personally, meaning you may need several hospital visits over the space of several weeks. The good news is you can expect to pay only half of what dentistry would cost in many western countries.

    8

    Insurance companies may consider covering your treatment and flight

    This is an interesting option for anyone with medical insurance. Even though you aren’t based in Thailand, insurance companies may consider covering your treatment, flights and stay here providing it does not work out more expensive than treatment in your country of residence. Expats who are living elsewhere in Asia are the most common type of patient who is offered this choice, so it's worth checking with your health insurance provider to see if you are eligible.

    9

    Excellent spine and orthopaedic treatment

    BNH Hospital in the Silom area of Bangkok specializes in orthopaedic and spine treatment, including Paediatric, Hand & Microsurgery, Foot and Ankle, Arthroscopy & Sport Medicine, Arthroplasty, and Spinal Surgery. All surgeons and professors come from Chulalongkorn Hospital (Thailand’s most prestigious university). All spine surgery is done by a team including an orthopaedist, a neurosurgeon, a cardiologist, an anaesthetist and a pain specialist. The team has been working together for many years and their complication rate is very low. Furthermore, the nursing team is experienced and attentive.

    10

    Advanced/cutting-edge technology

    Bangkok has more than 20 Joint Commission International (JCI) accredited hospitals, which is widely considered the international benchmark for the quality of a hospital. This accreditation is only possible if a hospital is offering the latest advances in surgery and treatment. For example, BNH offers a 4D Mammography, which can detect cancerous tissue far earlier than ever before, and a Cath lab for physically examining patients with heart symptoms.

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveler

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