Thailand is one of the top locations for dental and health vacations. (This is where you get medical work done outside of your native country, and the money you save by doing the procedure overseas pays for your entire vacation.)
Personally, I don’t spend much time in the hospitals, I’m in my late 20’s and pretty healthy. However, over the last few years I’ve made a few small trips.
2- Cleaning and Stitches
3- Massive Allergic Reaction
4- Blood Clot
Below is what I’ve had to pay WITHOUT any kind of health insurance:
X-Ray – Cost 250 baht (8usd)
During one of my more extreme kick boxing classes, I took a brutal kick to the head. After waking up, I was recommended to get an x-ray scan just in case my skull was cracked.
The x-ray cost me 250 baht. I was also charged a 100 baht (3usd) nurse fee and 500 baht (15usd) to talk with the doctor about the outcome of the scan.
Total cost for an x-ray with expert consultation in Thailand: 850 baht (28usd)
Note: A few years ago I got an x-ray in the United States. The out of pocket cost WITH my health insurance was 110usd.
Stitches and Cleaning from a Moped Accident – 1000 baht (30usd)
If you’re visiting the islands in Thailand, you will most likely be renting a moped for sightseeing. Not only is this the cheapest way to see Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, it’s also a lot of fun.
However, every person I know has been in at least one moped accident in Thailand. It’s either due to sand on the road that you didn’t notice or driving drunk. (I’m guilty of both.)
99 percent of the time, you simply scrape up your foot and leg. When this happens, you can either go to one of the many pharmacies and fix yourself up, or have a cute Thai nurse and doctor do it for you.
Since I’m a huge fan of outsourcing, I go the hospital route.
Total cost of cleaning, stitches, bandages, consultation with the doctor, and a phone number from your cute nurse: 1000 baht (30usd)
Note: If you say that you “live” in Thailand and not a tourist when you first enter the hospital. Often you can get up to 50% discount at the hospital. I’ve never tried this in Bangkok, but it works great on Koh Samui.
Massive Allergic Reaction – 2,700 baht (90usd)
I don’t know exactly what it is, but there is one chemical in a certain fabric softener that I am HIGHLY allergic to. So when I forget to tell my laundry shop, “no perfume”, I’m taking a risk.
Although it has only happened once in Thailand and once in America, when this does happens, my entire body gets red, swells up, and itches like crazy. Which means I go straight to the hospital within 24 hours.
The cute nurse asks a few questions, sits me down in the private room, and 5 minutes later the doctor comes to check me out. Then I lie down on a bed for 30 minutes as a needle pump me full of anti-histamine.
Then the doctor comes back to see how I am and writes me a prescription. I pay, get my medication, then I’m good as new.
It sucks, but the efficiency of Thai hospitals is pretty impressive. There is no waiting for hours upon hours. When you walk in you are instantly assigned a nurse and tend to see your doctor within 5 to 10 minutes.
Total cost for a massive allergic reaction, medication, and consultation: 2,700 baht (90usd.)
Note: I’m the only person I’ve met who has this reaction to a certain fabric softener. So don’t be concerned about getting your laundry done in Thailand. But if you are, simply say, “No perfume”.
Blood Clot Checkup with Medication: 3,000 baht (100usd)
A year ago I noticed that the veins in my right arm were more noticeable than the veins on my left arm.
I mentioned this to my brother a year later because he had something similar in his leg and he recommended that I should get it checked out to make sure it isn’t a blood clot. Which are apparently is pretty deadly if the clot moves to your heart or brain.
Since I figured this was one of those “better safe than sorry” situations, I took his advice and went to the BNH hospital in Bangkok. (Which is a hospital in Bangkok that I highly recommend.)
They take blood for a blood check and do an ultra-sound of my arm looking for a blood clot. And one hour later I got the results. (I had a partial clot that medication cleared right up in 30 days.)
Total Cost for Blood Cot checkup, medication, and consultation with a specialist: 3,000 baht (100usd)
Note: My brother did the exact same thing in America. And WITH insurance, his out of pocket cost was 320usd.
As you can see, visits to a hospital in Thailand is not expensive. Thai hospitals are efficient, have modern equipment, very capable doctors, and attractive single nurses.