Thailand is a much sought after healthcare destination. More than a million healthcare tourists visit Thailand every year to avail healthcare services owing to its excellent medical and health care quality. Healthcare in Thailand is provided by government hospitals, private hospitals, non-governmental organizations and private practitioners.
A World Bank featured story titled, 'Thailand: Sustaining health Protection for All' says 99.5 % of the Thai people have access to healthcare under schemes promoted by the government. The budget allocation to healthcare is high and it is increasing steadily. Citizens are covered under schemes such as the Universal Coverage Scheme, Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme, Voluntary Healthcare Card Scheme, etc.
The Ministry of Public Health controls most of the hospitals in Thailand. There are more than a thousand government hospitals in the country. Government hospitals in Thailand are of three types, There are regional hospitals in the provinces with at least 500 beds, general hospitals in major districts or province capitals with a capacity of 200 to 500 beds, and community hospitals in the districts that can admit 10 to 30 patients. The community hospitals provide basic medical care and refer the more advanced cases to the general hospitals or the regional hospitals.
The quality of healthcare in the government hospitals is generally good; however, as the hospitals cater to a large number of people, you can expect a long wait. Foreigners have to pay normal charges and the benefit of the government schemes is not available to them. The advantage is government hospitals offer low cost healthcare compared to costs levied by private hospitals. In all probability, you will be admitted to a general ward unless you are willing to pay extra for a room.
The private hospitals are the best equipped and of these there are more than 300 in various parts of Thailand. You will find many of them in Bangkok and popular tourist destinations, while other major provinces will have at least one private hospital.
Specialist clinics such as dermatology clinics, cosmetic plastic surgery clinics as well as medical and wellness spas are widely available throughout the country.
Hospitals and Doctors Standards in Thailand
Hospitals and medical facilities in Thailand pride themselves on their high standards, and many have subjected their premises and systems to the most rigorous classification by applying for international accreditation and certification. Thailand was the first country in Asia to achieve JCI accreditation in 2002, and 56 hospitals are now accredited (data as of March 2017).
Many more healthcare providers are ISO 14000 and ISO 9000 certified. Though the ISO certification is not a hospital accreditation, these standards of general management and environmental management is a sign of quality assurance in healthcare that indicates the hospital’s commitment to deliver sustainable, high-quality facilities and services. Additionally, more than 350 Thai hospitals have acquired Hospital Accreditation (HA), awarded by the Ministry of Public Health.
International patients in Thailand will find that English-speaking general practitioners, dentists and surgeons are generally available in private hospitals and specialist clinics. Moreover, many hospitals offer translator services in most possible languages from Russian and Arabic to Dutch and Japanese.
Many Thai doctors and surgeons practicing in the private sectors today have won awards for their work and endeavors and many specialist doctors have earned international qualifications from western countries such as the US and UK. That being said, more than 500 doctors practicing in Thai hospitals and clinics nowadays are American Board Certified.
More information about healthcare and medical tourism in Thailand
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