Bangkok offers a large number of world-class hospitals and is a popular destination with medical tourists, especially among those who are interested in cosmetic surgery. Establishments such as Bumrungrad hospital are renowned the world over and are virtual cities in themselves, offering a large number of specialised centres and clinics.
Whether you are a tourist requiring outpatient treatment or an expat living in Bangkok, the experience of visiting Bangkok’s leading hospitals is usually very satisfactory. The city’s private hospitals are among the best in the world and even those that are run by the government are well equipped, clean and not too crowded.
Bangkok’s hospitals are staffed by experienced and professional doctors and nurses, most of whom speak English. The hospitals are modern and feature state-of-the-art facilities and technologies, offering everything from complex surgery to health checks, simple operations, private ward stay, dentistry and general consultation. Prices are significantly lower than you could ever hope to find in Western countries.
Health Care in Bangkok
The medical care available in Bangkok’s top hospitals is second to none, with the focus on service and hospitality as well as professionalism. The facilities offered are on a par with the leading hospitals in Europe and the US and every conceivable procedure can be found here.
Thailand is renowned for its standards in the medical profession and the Thais are naturally good at providing comfortable surroundings that even cater to the needs to VIP patients. As long as you have health cover or can afford a decent hospital, your health treatment will usually not be compromised in any way while in Thailand. Many foreigners come here specifically for the affordable professional health treatment.
Doctors in Bangkok
The doctors in Bangkok are experts in their respective fields, having mostly been trained in US medical colleges and many are able to speak good levels of English. While not all doctors in Bangkok are trustworthy, those doctors who serve in reputed hospitals, such as Bumrungrad, Bangkok General and Samitivej, are extremely experienced and skilled, often having been trained abroad. However, a general consultation fee with a trained physician/GP costs less than US$25 in even the leading hospitals in Bangkok.
Medical Insurance in Bangkok
Having medical insurance in Bangkok is a must, even if you come here for treatment in a Bangkok hospital. Things can go wrong, both in and out of hospital, and visitors are advised to get their travel insurance – which can be obtained online from companies such as Planet Earth Travel Insurance (from the UK)- in order before they come here. Local hospitals are used to dealing with insurance policies and claims, and if you are required to pay up front and claim at home, the bill is unlikely to be excessive. Expats living in Bangkok usually find local medical insurance to be very good value, with policies from BUPA starting from around US$700 per annum for decent hospitalisation coverage.
BUPA Health Insurance: 98 Sathorn Square Office Tower, 14th-15th Floor, North Sathorn Road, Silom, Tel: (02) 677 0000.
Hospitals in Bangkok
Bumrungrad International Hospital
Bumrungrad International Hospital is reputedly the best hospital in the whole of Thailand. The hospital has earned international acclaim, mainly for its forays into sex realignment surgery, and also has excellent orthopaedic and cardiac surgery centres.
Most of the surgeons here have received training in the US or Europe and are among the best in Thailand. Medical costs at Bumrungrad are the highest in Thailand, although they are still far less than you would pay for the same procedures in the West. 33 Sukhumvit 3, Wattana, Tel: (02) 667 1000, Emergency: (02) 667 2999.
Bangkok Hospital is another highly rated private hospital in Bangkok, which features an excellent orthopaedics centre. Common treatment options for medical tourists include surgery for elbow, knee, hip and spinal conditions. The staff at Bangkok Hospital are highly experienced, and prices are reasonable. 2 Soi Soonvija 7, New Petchburi Road, Huaykwang, Tel: (02) 310 3000 or 1719 (Local calls only).
Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
Samitivej Srinakarin is a highly rated hospital in Bangkok, where the focus is mainly on kids, yet standard orthopaedic procedures are available for adults. Samitivej is cheaper than either Bumrungrad and Bangkok General Hospital but offers the same facilities, services and attention to detail of any world class hospital. 488 Srinakarin Road, Suanluang, Tel: (02) 022 2222.
BNH is a popular choice for medical tourists with orthopaedic problems who cannot stretch to Bumrungrad or Bangkok General Hospital. All types of orthopaedic and cardiac surgery is undertaken here, including lumbar spine disc replacement, the placement of artificial discs, and heart bypasses. 9/1 Convent Road, Silom, Tel: (02) 686 2700.
Saint Louis Hospital
A private 24-hour general hospital for both outpatients and inpatients, which offers a high level of care and comfortable air-conditioned rooms. Saint Louis has a state of the art operating room as well as a health promotion department. 27 South Sathorn Road, Tel: (02) 675 5000.
Manaram was Thailand’s first private hospital for mental and behavioural healthcare. People of all ages (including children) are all provided for with diagnostic evaluation, prevention, treatment, and relapse prevention care. 9 Sukumvit 70/3, Bangna, Tel: (02) 725 9595.