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BANGKOK 20 February 2019 20:03
IBIB

Health care and hospitalizations (public and private) for Thai nationalities

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Hi all

 

I would like to know what is the level of public health services (hospitals and clinics) in Thailand for Thai nationalities and is it common/popular to do a private medical insurance? If so, what kind and where?

I got a quote today from one insurance company and it seems like they cover hospitalization/treatments but do not cover medications at all is this something common?

 

As a side note: My wife is Thai and a couple of days ago she had to stay overnight at the hospital. One night at the hospital (private one) costed almost 10,000 baht is that normal?

 

Partial answers are also welcome. I know my question spans on more than one topic

 

Thank you very much

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It is very rare for a Thai to have private medical insurance as al of them are covered under the government system and able to get free care in public hospitals.

 

The quality of care in public hospitals is generally good, and excellent in the national level teaching hospitals.  However much depends on the level of the hospital, in the district level (community) hospitals capacities are very, very limited and they need to refer anything of any seriousness up to the next level. Under the government system care is free only in the hospital which is responsible for the area where you are listed in a tabian ban (house registration) -- something worth taking into account when deciding where to live. Tabian ban listings can be changed.

 

Whiel the quality fo care is usually good (and ofetn much better than private hospitals ,especially upcountry where private hospitals are often best avoided) the creature comforts are few to none and there are long waits etc. When hospitalized, it is possible to pay extra for a private or semi-private room and that is well worth it as conditions on the wards can be pretty rough, though it does vary by hospital.

 

Private insurance policies can be hospitalization only or in + outpatient.Hospitalization only policies will cover medications while in the hospital and given at discharge. Some cover outpatient care that directly proceeds or follows a hospitalization. Policies that include outpatient will cover medications as well as the consultation and any tests. However, including outpatient costs substantially raises premiums, often  by an amount not much less than  the maximum benefit so it is almost never worth getting it.

 

Medications should never be obtained when making an outpatient visit to a private hospital as they mark up costs by as much as 10 fold. Insist on having them removed from the bill and buy at a pharmacy. Only exception would be if the medication in question is prescription only but most drugs are sole over the counter here, the main exception are narcotics, tranquilizers and steroids.

 

You are very lucky to have been charged only 10K for an overnight stay at a private hospital, must not have involved any sort of surgery, ICU or expensive tretaments. In  a serious illness or major accident the bill can easily top 100K in the first 24 hours and total bills of 3-4 million are usual if for really major problem (ICU care, specialized surgeries etc).

 

Almost no TV members get private insurance for Thai family members,  given that they can get care for free. Far better to just pay out of pocket for private rooms in govt hospitals when needed and perhaps for occasional outpt care at a private hospital if you want to avoid the crowds, and use the government system  for anything major or needing admission.

 

See also this thread  https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/615461-the-thai-public-health-system/

 

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On 2/14/2019 at 3:22 AM, IBIB said:

One night at the hospital (private one) costed almost 10,000 baht is that normal?

Her status of being married to a farang would be somewhat dented if she'd used a government hospital. Same goes for Thai ladies that are having a farangs baby. Status requires them to go private.

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25 minutes ago, Rally123 said:

Her status of being married to a farang would be somewhat dented if she'd used a government hospital. Same goes for Thai ladies that are having a farangs baby. Status requires them to go private.

Many, many Thai women married to farangs delivery babies and otherwise get care in government hospitals.

 

 

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On 2/14/2019 at 3:22 AM, IBIB said:

As a side note: My wife is Thai and a couple of days ago she had to stay overnight at the hospital. One night at the hospital (private one) costed almost 10,000 baht is that normal?

It's normal for those Thai women who are seen in the company of a white foreigner.

Best she goes to a government hospital in the company of Thai relatives.

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10000 for a night in private hospital is not expensive at all. 

It depends a lot on what hospital it was and what has been done. 

Bangkok Hospital chain breaks even when they get 20000 - 50000 Baht per person per night. 

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9 hours ago, BritManToo said:

It's normal for those Thai women who are seen in the company of a white foreigner.

Best she goes to a government hospital in the company of Thai relatives.

Many private hospitals don't care whether you have farang relatives or not.  When a friend of a friend's (no farang whatsoever in the family) father needed treatment in ICU 2 nights in the best private hospital in Korat cost almost a year's salary.

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7 minutes ago, uhuh said:

Many private hospitals don't care whether you have farang relatives or not.  When a friend of a friend's (no farang whatsoever in the family) father needed treatment in ICU 2 nights in the best private hospital in Korat cost almost a year's salary.

There's a perfectly good government hospital in Korat, Maharat Nakon.

Nobody needs to go to 'the best private hospital', and actually all three hospitals have the same rating.

Saint Mary, Bangkok hospital and Maharat all classed at 4*

 

Forgot Fort Suranaree Military hospital also in Korat.

Edited by BritManToo

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On 2/14/2019 at 4:49 PM, Sheryl said:

It is very rare for a Thai to have private medical insurance as al of them are covered under the government system and able to get free care in public hospitals.

 

Private medical insurance is indeed rare,  but many do have some kind of benefits from credit card or employer,  usually some kind of accident insurance. 

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2 minutes ago, BritManToo said:

There's a perfectly good army hospital in Korat.

Nobody needs to go to 'the best private hospital'.

I know that.  But they went there and that was the cost. 

They moved the patient very soon somewhere else.  

BTW do not imply that they were just stupid.  Maybe the military hospital didn't accept the patient,  or their ICU was full...

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On 2/14/2019 at 4:49 PM, Sheryl said:

 

 

The quality of care in public hospitals is generally good, and excellent in the national level teaching hospitals. 

 

I beg to differ. 

Considering that Thailand is a middle income country,  not a rich country,  the quality of care is surprisingly good. 

But compared to care in rich countries,  many hospitals in Thailand are not good at all. Some are deadly.

 

One thing all poor Thais, especially from the ethnic minorities in Isan, know:

The Thai (Chinese) doctor in the public hospital looks down on them.

- Most old rice farmers suffer from back problems - paracetamol is good enough.

- 76-year old with broken limbs? Going to die soon anyway,  don't invest much effort. 

- Broken vertebra of a middle aged housewife? We have bigger problems. 

 

That's why even the poor try to get the money for a private hospital.

Even without a farang who pays. 

 

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On 2/14/2019 at 4:49 PM, Sheryl said:

 

Medications should never be obtained when making an outpatient visit to a private hospital as they mark up costs by as much as 10 fold. Insist on having them removed from the bill and buy at a pharmacy. 

 

I agree. 

Since 2015, the hospital is obliged to write a prescription so you can buy the medication outside the hospital. 

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15 minutes ago, uhuh said:

That's why even the poor try to get the money for a private hospital.

Even without a farang who pays. 

 

My many Thai relatives have never had any problems getting decent health care in the government hospitals.

And they've been treated for everything from cancer to liver flukes.

None of them have ever considered private (as far as I know), but they do occasionally stump up the extra 1,000bht/night for a private room..

Edited by BritManToo
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Absolutely no one out where I live ever goes to a private hospital. The local government hospital is a regional level facility, provinces from miles around refer to.  the creature comforts are poor (abysmal if you are admitted to a ward) but Ok in the private rooms.

 

the only private hospital in the area, by contrast is a seedy run down place no one in their right mind sets foot into.

 

The overwhelming majority iof medical care received by Thais occurs in government hospitals. by a very, very, very large margin, Indeed in much of the country, cost aside, there are no viable options.

 

The most egregious malpractice I have seen here has been in private hospitals. Not that one can't get good care in them, if you carefully choose your dcotr you can, but it is definitley buyer be beware.

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