Thailand Health Insurance
No wonder it’s such a popular destination for expats and tourists alike.
At the same time, with tropical climates come a number of health risks which might not be of concern back home. These can include malaria, rabies and Japanese Encephalitis
While Thailand allegedly benefits from over a thousand medical establishments, the very best hospitals to be found in Thailand are private establishments, with fees to match.
The end result of all this means that Thailand health insurance should be considered an integral part of your travel-planning itinerary.
Private health insurance in Thailand grants you rapid and cost-effective entry to some of the most highly-regarded hospitals in all of Asia where you can look forward to short waiting lists and exceptional levels of medical care.
Thailand Health Insurance from Expatriate Healthcare
Here at Expatriate Healthcare we’re experts at providing international medical insurance to travellers and expats alike. As specialists in our field we’ll help you to stay safe during your time in Thailand.
Our standard medical insurance policies for Thailand include everything you could need as standard including:
- Emergency and accidental medical treatment
- 24/7 emergency assistance line
- Emergency dental treatment
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Medical repatriation
In addition we can also cover you for issues such as delayed luggage, loss of your passport, theft or missed departures.
Introduction to Healthcare in Thailand
Like many countries, while hospitals are to be found all across Thailand, the very best establishments are to be found in major urban areas. Bangkok is notable for the high quality facilities on offer, while the standards of medical care tend to decline in more rural areas.
You’ll either need to pay for your medical expenses out-of-pocket or rely on a Thailand health insurance policy to cover the fees.
If you are working as an expat in Thailand then you will normally be covered by social security, meaning that your employer pays into the government-run health service on your behalf. This grants you access to public medical facilities, though in reality many expats end up opting for fully-featured health insurance policies.
This is just as well, as while many public facilities are very reasonably priced, they may have long waiting times, or not offer the standards of medical care you are familiar with. In addition it is worth noting that paying for medical care yourself can get expensive very quickly should you require specialist care like medical repatriation, CAT scans and so on.
In addition most public hospitals in Thailand will expect your everyday care (washing, feeding etc.) to be carried out by family or friends. If you don’t fancy your travel companion having to bathe you then private healthcare may be the way to go.
Private Healthcare in Thailand
In recent years Thailand has become a major site for global medical tourism. The private medical sector offers four times the number of hospital beds as state-run facilities together with considerably shorter waiting times.
Thailand is the home of Bumrungrad International – Asia’s largest and most highly-regarded private hospital – though numerous other private facilities exist. Many of these hospitals are designed with foreigners in mind, offering specialist “tourist” wings with English-speaking staff. As such you are unlikely to struggle with a language barrier when attending these private facilities.
Oddly, for a country known for its low cost of living, private hospitals in Thailand often charge considerably more than comparable facilities elsewhere in the world. It has been suggested by a number of authorities that the cost of private healthcare in Thailand can be roughly twice that of a similar procedures in the USA.
Pharmacies in Thailand
In terms of accessing prescription drugs in Thailand it is interesting to note that these can sometimes be sourced (legally) over the counter in Thailand. Equally, some drugs which you can buy over the counter in the UK or USA may require a prescription in Thailand.
If in doubt it is generally easiest (and cheapest) to simply walk into a pharmacy and explain what it is that you need. Note that you may not be able to find the branded products you are familiar with, so aim to bring with you a list of the generic drug names you may need during your stay.
Pharmacies are generally easy to identify by their white signs with green crosses on. Note that there are numerous independently-run pharmacies, as well as most hospitals boasting their own. It is at the independent drug stores that you will normally get the best deals; hospital pharmacies often mark up their prices considerably.