Traveling Tips: Thailand Hospitals
I’m not sure what the general perception is, but my presumption was that most of the hospitals in Thailand were going to be that of a third world variety. You know the kind of place I mean. The kind of place where they still use leeches, and drill holes in your head to “release the demons” when you have a headache. Well, my fears came into play almost immediately on my trip when I crashed my motorbike on my second day in Thailand. I ended up having cuts and scraps on my arm, leg and top of my foot, and was pretty sure that I had broken at least 1 toe. My first presumption was that if I went to the hospital, they would tell me they had to amputate my foot. Eeek! After about 3 days of laying around and trying to heal myself with peroxide and tylenol, I decide to give in and have the owner of my bungalow take me to the hospital.
Before I get into the services I received at the Phuket Hospital, let me preferace this with a little backstory of a recent experience at a hospital in the States. About 2 weeks before my trip to Thailand, I was receiving my immunization shots, and had an adverse reaction. As a result, I ended up having a seizure and had to be taken to the emergency room. Now mind you, I have health insurance, so I only had to pay for the copay, but let me give you a little insight into the experience of a US hospital.
Once I arrived in the emergency room, I got admitted, and sat around for almost an hour. I had my blood pressure taken, got a CT scan, saw a doctor for about 5 minutes, and was released. The entire process took about 3 hours, and I actually didn’t receive any treatment. I only ended up having the two tests. On top of that, it ended up costing about $5000. As I said, my insurance covered most of it, but that is still an insane amount.
Now fast forward about 2 weeks and I arrive at the Phuket Hospital in Thailand. As soon as I arrive at the hospital, I am admitted by two very pleasant nurses, given a free bottle of water, and taken to the emergency room. This only took about 10 minutes. Once I was in the emergency room, a doctor came to see me and talked to me extensively about my accident and my injuries. He prescribed me a pain killer, an anti-inflamatory and an antibotic, as I had an infection in my cuts. He also had a nurse clean and dress my wounds, and refered me to an orthopedic specialist. One my way to see the specialist, I stopped off to get X Rays. After I got the X Rays, the orthopedic doctor reviewed them with me, and explained to me that I had broken 1 toe, and chipped 2 more as a result of a ligament being torn off the bone. From there I proceeded to checkout, where I received my 3 prescriptions and received a card for 6 free wound cleanings at the hospital. All this only cost a little over $300. No, I didn’t leave a 0 out, it was only $300.
So let’s compare this real quick. In the US, I paid over 10 times as much, it took twice as long and I only received half the services compared to my experience at Thailand. Don’t worry, I won’t go off on a Michael Moore style rant here. It’s pretty clear to me that the overall level of service and care in a country such as Thailand, is far beyond that in the States.
My advice to you is if you get seriously injuried while on vacation in Thailand, do not hesitate to go to the hospital. It won’t cost you much, and you will receive some of the best quality and health care available.
I hope you found this information helpful. Feel free to comment below.