For people visiting different countries there is always a concern about medical care. Thailand is a country that many people would not associate with top level medical care, however tourists and residents alike have access to some of the most modern equipment and well trained staff in the world. As with many other parts of the economy including business, tourism and medical care, Thailand is seen as a model for many of the surrounding countries. The main hospitals are completely modern and the cost of treatment is reasonable compared to other Asian and European countries, plus the level of medical care, Thailand’s major hospitals at least, is considered to be some of the best.
As with any other type of medical system, the medical care, Thailand and surrounding areas, is divided into general physicians and specialists. Typically a patient does not need to have a referral from a general physician to get into a specialist, although depending on the symptoms and conditions the patient may end up seeing more than one specialist. It is more difficult in Thailand to find a general doctor, especially in the larger centers, as health care professionals tend to be very specialized. Doctors in Thailand are paid up front by the patient, with prices typically being posted and explained in advance of any treatment or services provided. As with other types of procedures and medical care, Thailand will honor insurance policies as they apply to services. In most cases patients will still be needed to pay some of the fees, just like in most hospitals or clinics.
Most doctors in Thailand work part-time at a hospital or at more than one hospital plus they also have their own private practices. This provides a split in the medical care, Thailand may be closer to the United Kingdom in this aspect. Patients may find it faster to get into a doctor’s private practice for treatment than seeing the doctor through the hospital, although it will cost more. In addition the doctors in Thailand are not typically housed out of the hospital so they are not regular members of the treatment team for a patient, the nurses provide much more routine and regular care with the doctor only seeing the patient if there is a need.
Keep in mind that with regards to medical care Thailand offers options of private facilities and government run hospitals and clinics. A private clinic or treatment center may not offer better service but it may be faster and the doctor tends to spend more time with the patient than in a government run facility.