Thailand is not only a major tourism destination in the world but also one of the most popular countries for medical tourism. More than a million foreigners travel to Thailand every year to get medical and surgical procedures done.
Healthcare in Thailand is largely driven by private hospitals. Thailand healthcare has many advantages over its Asian neighbors when it comes to medical tourism. Interestingly Thailand has the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia and also the first hospital in Asia to get a JCI accreditation and ISO 9001 certification. There are lots of advantage getting a treatment in Thailand.
- Add a treatment while on holiday 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 (more about the price below). Plus, it is possible to arrange simple procedures with an Out-Patient Visit so it need not take much time away from enjoying the rest of your holiday.
- 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+ degrees heat, which would you choose?
- 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 three 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.
- 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 is 30% cheaper than in Europe and 70% cheaper than the US.
- Highly Experienced Doctors with international experience
It is very common for Thai doctors to study abroad where they will 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 ensure Thailand is at the forefront of medical techniques and innovation.
- 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.
As one of the most popular treatments in Bangkok, dentistry is an area of medicine many people want to know more about. At BNH (and many other top medical establishments), 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.
- 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 but it is worth checking with your health insurance provider to see if you are eligible.
- Spine and Orthopedic
BNH Hospital specialises 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.
- Advanced/Cutting-Edge Technology
As of 2016, Bangkok had 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 4-D Mammography which can detect cancerous tissue far earlier than ever before, and a Cath lab for physically examining patients with heart symptoms.