Choosing a Doctor in Bangkok

Bangkok is a popular healthcare hub, which gives patients the advantage of having plenty of private and public hospitals from which to choose. While most specialists require appointments, walking in without an appointment is a generally accepted practice for routine visits. The larger hospitals also have websites and scheduling centers that make it very easy to set up an appointment. You can also find out more about the doctor accreditations and whey they have practiced in the past. Some Thai doctors have spent a portion of their career working overseas and may have practiced medicine in your home country.
The best place to start when looking for the right hospital is to first consider your needs and what medical issues, whether ongoing or genetic, are most important to you. Once you know what you want out of your healthcare, it’s easy to contact as many of the local hospitals as you’d like. Most private hospitals have digital inquiry systems that make it possible for patients to ask their questions which are then addressed by medical professionals to help you determine the details of your potential visit, including advice on finding the right doctor and treatment plan. 

Insurance and the Cost of Healthcare

Although the cost of healthcare in Thailand is considerably less expensive than comparable care in most western countries, paying for care is an important aspect of your planning. Payment for healthcare services is generally expected right away, as opposed to the billing options that may be available in some parts of the world. If you have insurance, the hospital will give you the appropriate forms to fill out and contact your insurance provider to arrange the payment. If you don’t have insurance, the hospital will expect full payment upon treatment, before leaving the premises. 
It can be quite difficult to estimate costs for medical treatment in Thailand. In an effort to make this process easier for the patient, Bumrungrad has a program called REAL COST, which offers free online access to the real costs you can expect to incur for most common procedures at the hospital based on what other patients have paid in the past. Using a tool such as REAL COST can help you anticipate the costs and benefits of your treatment. 

There are several major health insurance providers operating in Thailand, and whether it is through your employer or by purchasing a private plan, there are ways to ensure that you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having the right insurance plan for your life in Thailand. Most employers, international or local, offer health insurance coverage as part of their benefits packages for their employees.  As private health insurance companies have different coverage plans for people based on age, health, and other factors, it’s smart to shop around and get the coverage that’s right for you. 



Choosing a Pharmacy

Almost every street in Bangkok is sure to have a convenience store and a pharmacy within walking distance, but it’s very important to consider the authenticity of each drug before you consume it. Common medications such as pain killers and antibiotics do not require a prescription and can be bought from most independent pharmacies.

However, even in the case of antibiotics, it is in your best interest to ensure that your medication is coming from reputable sources. Medication distribution is not strictly regulated in Thailand, so vigilance is the responsibility of the consumer. When taking medication, the patient is also responsible for considering other factors such as counteraction with any existing prescriptions, and storage conditions such as optimum temperature control. This is why getting your prescriptions from your hospital or internationally-recognized pharmacies such as Boots and Watsons is so important.

Quality You Can Trust

If you need medical care while in Thailand, you can rest assured that the hospitals, local or international, have the necessary facilities to accommodate your needs. Many of Bangkok’s private hospitals feature a premium standard of patient care, with many doctors representing virtually every medical sub-specialty. Doctors in Thailand undergo a rigorous training and qualification process similar to those in the US, and it’s likely that you may even find a doctor here who studied and practiced medicine in your home country. Bumrungrad Hospital is home to more than 1300 physicians and surgeons, about 300 of whom hold US-board certifications and international fellowships. 

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