A large number of tourists choose to have health checks in Thailand, mainly because of the low cost, but also because hospitals here are well set up to accommodate medical tourists and offer tailored medicals. In addition, you can have your medical and then receive the results in an afternoon before relaxing on the beach. For as little as 3,000 baht (US$100) you can have a complete body check, helping you to detect early signs of disease or problems without paying through the nose.
Health checks in Thailand are available virtually anywhere in the country; in the very best hospitals in Bangkok, at the beach resorts of Phuket, Samui and Pattaya, as well as in the northern capital of Chiang Mai. Some private hospitals target visitors with a complete package that makes great sense, even if you hadn’t previously thought about it.
You can have a basic health check in Thailand, where your blood pressure, eyes, height and weight are tested, or perhaps opt for a full body check, which may include a look at the liver, kidneys and heart. Costs range from just 50 baht to several thousand, depending on the depth of the check, subsequent treatment, and, of course, the hospital you choose.
In addition, men should consider having their prostate gland checked out periodically and ladies should have a mammogram examination to look for signs of breast cancer. Those with known heart conditions can also have an exercise stress test to determine the amount of blood flowing through the heart, while an electrocardiogram (ECG) will check for an erratic heartbeat.
You may even opt for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan over a chest x-ray for better clarity and can also have a complete blood count to check for the right amounts of essential fluids. Hepatitis and HIV checks can also be performed with health checks in Thailand.
As to how often you should have a medical; in general, those under the age of 40 should have one every three years, those between 40 and 50 every couple of years, and annually for those over 50.
Thailand’s major hospitals offer all types of health checks for medical tourists and special packages are also offered. You can have a health check in the morning at the likes of Bumrungrad International, Bangkok Hospital, Phuket International, and Chiang Mai Ram, then go and have something to eat and come back in the afternoon to pick up the results.
You can then discuss the results with the physicians if you are unsure of anything or need to consider treatment for a discovered condition. The results can also be taken back to discuss with your home physician or GP.