The healthcare system in Thailand consists mainly of government and private hospitals. Here, we’ll give you a brief breakdown of how the system is divided and what sets these two systems apart.
The public healthcare system is funded by the Department of Medical Services and the Ministry of Public Health. The standard of healthcare in Thailand’s major cities is generally high, and as such the government hospitals strive to provide quality care for their patients. Thai nationals with a Universal Coverage Health Card or foreigners paying social security as part of their taxes receive free treatment at the government hospitals. Most of the healthcare staff at the government hospitals will often be primarily Thai-speaking, with some doctors possibly being able to speak some English.
There are several private hospitals within Bangkok, most of which offer healthcare that matches or exceeds the level of care found in hospitals in many western countries. Hospitals in Thailand are reviewed and accredited by two independent accreditation organizations. The major international hospitals, such as Bumrungrad, are also reviewed and accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI). Bumrungrad International was the first hospital in the country to receive this accreditation back in 2002, and continues to maintain this accreditation at every recertification. There are additional advanced accreditations that private hospitals are using to develop best practices. For example, Bumrungrad was the first hospital in Thailand to recently receive CAP (The College of American Pathologists) accreditation. This accreditation ensures that the standards and practices used in the hospital laboratory to diagnose disease perform at the same levels as the top institutions that are benchmarked in the USA.
In the large private hospitals, most doctors speak English and many even offer language services for foreigners who may not speak English or prefer other languages beside Thai or English. From general practitioners to specialists and dentists, it’s possible to find care in English and even in another language. Other major provinces around the country have at least one major hospital where English might be spoke, with the numbers increasing in areas that are most popular among tourists.
Bumrungrad International dedicates a great deal of effort and resources to support the language and cultural needs of our international and expat patients. One such resource is the Medical Coordination Office
, which facilitates seamless transitions from the first contact all the way through after-care. This complete service is offered free of charge to our patients, and it’s a part of our ongoing efforts to provide not only excellent patient care, but also service that addresses the other human needs of being a patient in a foreign country.