Bangkok has been well-known to have an excellent set of healthcare providers with world-class hospitals, US and European trained physicians, and nursing professionals who are the envy of international healthcare providers.
Having certain medical procedures performed in Bangkok can save you 60-80% – after factoring in travel and lodging expenses!
With any medical procedure safety and quality should both weigh heavier than cost. Before deciding to have any surgery, do your research.
Our website provides a comprehensive starting point, but can not answer all the answers unique to each prospective patient’s situation.
For each procedure you will need to weigh benefits versus risks.
You will need to research both the physician and clinic/hospital before making a final decision.
For the provider, make sure they are board certified in their specialty in the country in which you are having the procedure performed.
Keep in mind that some country’s certification laws may be less stringent than those in the United States or Europe and you may want a surgeon with a western or international certification.
Ideally would want to find a surgeon who certified in the United States using the American Board of Medical Specialties website.
A great resource for patients seeking cosmetic procedures abroad is the International Society of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery their website can provide information on internationally certified surgeons and other useful information.
Lastly, ask to speak with former patients, ask to speak to several people having undergone the same procedure, with the same physician at the same clinic or hospital.
Why seek medical care abroad in Bangkok?
The reasons why people travel to Bangkok for medical care is as diverse as the people themselves. However, there are three reasons that seem to come up more frequently than others:
(1) Great quality medical care in may be accessible at a substantially lower cost outside of ones country of residence. The cost of many types of medical care has skyrocketed in some areas of the world, in particular in the United States and in some countries in Europe. Residents of these countries can potentially pay 50-90% less for the same procedures or treatments in Bangkok. Best of all, the care available in these hospitals can be comparable or even better than the care available at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Europe. All this while travel has gotten cheaper and faster.
(2) As with any other product or service there are hospitals and doctors that have a reputation for being in a class by themselves. This has for a long time led people to travel, sometimes very long distances, to seek out the best of the best to treat anything from a life threatening condition to have minor cosmetic procedures performed.
(3) The advance of technology continuously leads to the discovery of new or improved methods for treating disease or performing medical procedures. For reasons ranging from a new treatment option not yet having gained government approval to the availability of resources such as specialists and equipment people sometimes miss out on treatment options that could have offered them a better outcome if not looking outside of ones local hospital.
A broad spectrum of people choose to receive medical care abroad. The procedures chosen obviously vary.
For segments of the population with comprehensive medical insurance cosmetic procedures are often chosen, both because these procedures are not covered by insurance and because a short vacation in conjunction with these types of procedures allow for some necessary recovery time before returning to normal life. Most common places for these procedures: Asia, Eastern Europe and Spain. Also, laser eye surgery (Canada) and dental work (Eastern Europe), both not covered by insurance are popular reasons for this segment to go abroad.
For people without health insurance there are significant amounts of money to be saved on virtually any procedure.
For both segments, access to procedures and treatments not accessible, or widely accessible, in their home country can be a motivating factor for going abroad for treatment. E.g. treatment options desperately needed by patients in the United States are delayed because many medical equipment and drug manufacturers bring state of the art technology to Europe years before introducing it in the U.S. because of the, sometime, excessive bureaucracy with bringing medical technology to market here.
For quite a number of years, Thailand’s major private hospitals have led the creation of a new tourism segment, that has taken off and is now bringing big rewards: medical tourism.
Hospitals such as the Bangkok Hospital and Bumrungrad Hospital have led the way, drawing wealthy clients from the Middle East, Japan and the United States seeking a high standard of care at affordable prices.
Now, marketing systems are in place to bring such clients to Bangkok and Pattaya as well. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and individual tour operators have taken the lead to develop this important segment.
For example, tour operators in the State of Qatar see positive signs in Thailand’s medical tourism industry, thanks to competitive prices and the international standards of many medical facilities. Overall, Qatari tourist numbers have increased 58% in the 2007-2010 period alone—and many of those visitors are seeking medical care.
Farooq Siddiqui, manager of Regency Travel & Tours in Qatar, said the medical tourism industry in Thailand has much room to grow with Middle Eastern patients.
“Medical treatment in Thailand costs about 50% less than in Europe,” Mr Siddiqui said. Current numbers show about a third of Qataris looking for medical care abroad are coming to Thailand, with the rest going to Germany, the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Europe.
Mr Siddiqui added that rich Qataris like to have a medical check-up in Bangkok and stay at the JW Marriott Hotel, which offers a special rate for medical tourism clients. For its part, Bumrungrad International Hospital, also in Bangkok, reported 125,000 Arab patients last year alone.