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Expatriate Healthcare News: Healthcare advice for Thailand

Prospective expatriates considering relocating to Thailand should be aware that healthcare provision in the country has been affected by the recent political unrest.

According to Peter Pallot, writing in the Telegraph, Thai medical services have improved significantly over the last two decades, but more still needs to be done.

Annual spending on healthcare comprises less than five per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) – half the proportion being spent on health in western Europe and a third of what goes on healthcare in North America, Mr Pallot writes.

The Thai government meets most of the cost of the nation’s healthcare system, which replaced means-tested care with a comprehensive insurance model, although some charges remain.

Mr Pallot said that medical service provision in Thailand is held back by a shortage of general practitioners, as while most doctors are highly trained in specialist areas of medicine, they tend to treat patients "within the parameters of their speciality".

Britain’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises would-be expatriates that while most hospitals and clinics are generally up to the UK standard, some, particularly on coastal islands and outside Bangkok are not equipped to deal with major trauma.

"Many hospitals require guarantee of payment for the hospital bills before they will begin treatment," the department warns.

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