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Is treatment for COVID-19 really free in Thailand?


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By Thai PBS World’s General Desk

 

Despite the government’s repeated assurance that treatment for COVID-19 is free, not everyone is convinced. Copies of hefty hospital bills for COVID care are circulating widely on social media platforms.

 

One patient was hit with a bill of Bt937,979 for 16 days in a private hospital, which included three days in intensive care (ICU). Another had to pay Bt989,670 for 17 days in hospital, 13 of which were spent in ICU.

 

People who need COVID-19 treatment should therefore study their options carefully, including which services are free.

 

Full story: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/is-treatment-for-covid-19-really-free-in-thailand/

 

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In the event we felt sick, or tested positive, would we as ex-pats be able to designate a public vs. private hospital? I know Chula, since I had to take a friend there (not for Covid) last year and see him every day. I like it. It's public. But could they make me go somewhere else?

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2 hours ago, Enzian said:

In the event we felt sick, or tested positive, would we as ex-pats be able to designate a public vs. private hospital? I know Chula, since I had to take a friend there (not for Covid) last year and see him every day. I like it. It's public. But could they make me go somewhere else?

You can choose public but as a foreigner must still pay if not insured. 

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2 hours ago, Enzian said:

In the event we felt sick, or tested positive, would we as ex-pats be able to designate a public vs. private hospital? I know Chula, since I had to take a friend there (not for Covid) last year and see him every day. I like it. It's public. But could they make me go somewhere else?

Yes, they could.

 

At this point in Bangkok bed space for COVID patients is very scarce. You might even be sent to a hospital outside the city.

 

Chance of getting a COVID bed at Chula are very, very slim.

 

If you test positive but are not symptomatic you will be sent to a Field Hospital. Might be able to wrangke your way into a "hospitel" instead if you can afford it.

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4 hours ago, canopus1969 said:

Free / Thailand - you're 'aving a laff

 

 

"The Royal Thai Army has offered to help the public with cremation services for patients who have passed away of COVID-19, free of charge". 

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4 hours ago, ExpatOilWorker said:

Only dying is free!

Only for the deceased, not for the family. 😉

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40 minutes ago, RobMuir said:

Surely expats moving here do not expat "free" hospitals.

What next, asking the Thai government for a pension? 

Because we are entitled?

Any person who lives and works legally, pays taxes and contributes to the local economy in any country, here or elsewhere, should be entitled to the exact same services and treatment as the locals who live, work and pay taxes there. 

 

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4 hours ago, djayz said:

Any person who lives and works legally, pays taxes and contributes to the local economy in any country, here or elsewhere, should be entitled to the exact same services and treatment as the locals who live, work and pay taxes there. 

 

Nah.

 

Only it that person is a citizen.

 

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11 hours ago, Enzian said:

In the event we felt sick, or tested positive, would we as ex-pats be able to designate a public vs. private hospital? I know Chula, since I had to take a friend there (not for Covid) last year and see him every day. I like it. It's public. But could they make me go somewhere else?

Personally, I would drop on the floor and play dead and see if that gets me a bed? 🤔

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7 hours ago, garzhe said:

 

 

"The Royal Thai Army has offered to help the public with cremation services for patients who have passed away of COVID-19, free of charge". 

Very generous. Even cremation can be pricey.

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2 hours ago, thailand49 said:

Personally, I would drop on the floor and play dead and see if that gets me a bed? 🤔

You might get a free body bag.

 

I'm Not Dead Yet | The Music Court

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14 hours ago, canopus1969 said:

Free / Thailand - you're 'aving a laff

ICU stays ? Private hospital rooms free? Anywhere in the world? Your avin a laff

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7 hours ago, djayz said:

Any person who lives and works legally, pays taxes and contributes to the local economy in any country, here or elsewhere, should be entitled to the exact same services and treatment as the locals who live, work and pay taxes there. 

 

And what percentage of the entitled thai visa forum crowd would fit those parameters? Most of em whinge about having to report every 90 days how many and working and paying taxes? Sweet fa

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3 minutes ago, starky said:

And what percentage of the entitled thai visa forum crowd would fit those parameters? Most of em whinge about having to report every 90 days how many and working and paying taxes? Sweet fa

 

well,  I fit those criteria, butI still often am discriminated against.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, tgw said:

 

well,  I fit those criteria, butI still often am discriminated against.

Unfortunate but there are many many countries in the world that do not offer free health care America being the most obvious example. Thailand is also one.  It does not have universal health care it has low cost. If you wish to be treated in a hospital that offers those services as a taxpayer you should be allowed. In countries that don't offer free health care emergency ICU and private hospitals don't even enter the equation. The cost a packet. 

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26 minutes ago, tgw said:

 

well,  I fit those criteria, butI still often am discriminated against.

Me too. 

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3 hours ago, thailand49 said:

Personally, I would drop on the floor and play dead and see if that gets me a bed? 🤔

Or an early cremation... 🤢

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10 hours ago, thailand49 said:

Personally, I would drop on the floor and play dead and see if that gets me a bed? 🤔

 

Oh yes. Bed of a pickup truck on your way to being dumped far from the hospital

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If you pay into the Social security fund, you will be able to get free treatment in hospital and limited dental care etc. Pay in for 15 years you will also get a pension. I started in government school and when the contract ended I received unemployment benefit. I now pay 400+ per month. 2 months ago had 2nd heart attack, was rushed to Korat and received a stent and great treatment transfer by ambulance there and back. Total cost: nothing, zero. The government hospital in Thailand, can be overloaded (Chayaphum) and others good (Nong bua Daeng) and my normal is excellant (Phetchabun) All hospitals now have a fleets of Ambulance that look after you. Private hospitals can and will suck your money quicker than your last breath, and think nothing about putting you in their Ambulance and taking you to a government hospital for treatment...go figure. I would suggest popping down to your local social security office sign up, yourself and wifey, trust me treatment costs are the one thing you don't want to create concerns.

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1 hour ago, phetpeter said:

If you pay into the Social security fund, you will be able to get free treatment in hospital and limited dental care etc. Pay in for 15 years you will also get a pension. I started in government school and when the contract ended I received unemployment benefit. I now pay 400+ per month. 2 months ago had 2nd heart attack, was rushed to Korat and received a stent and great treatment transfer by ambulance there and back. Total cost: nothing, zero. The government hospital in Thailand, can be overloaded (Chayaphum) and others good (Nong bua Daeng) and my normal is excellant (Phetchabun) All hospitals now have a fleets of Ambulance that look after you. Private hospitals can and will suck your money quicker than your last breath, and think nothing about putting you in their Ambulance and taking you to a government hospital for treatment...go figure. I would suggest popping down to your local social security office sign up, yourself and wifey, trust me treatment costs are the one thing you don't want to create concerns.

@phetpeter Would very much appreciate it if you could provide more details about how one might go about paying into the Social security fund.  I would do it in a heartbeat, if I just knew where to go and how to sign up.

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