Medical Services in Thailand
The Thai Healthcare System
The medical system in Thailand is exceptionally good, in fact, medical tourism has become one of Thailand’s major exports. When comparing both the quality and the costs to that of many western countries, medical treatment in Thailand is very affordable.
It will come as a pleasant surprise to most, that doctors, dentists and opticians are readily available in Thailand. Forget about the long wait times to see a specialist. It’s common to be able to see a specialist within thirty minutes of arriving at a major hospital without an appointment. Doctors in the larger hospitals speak good English.
From our experience, the cost of top quality dental care in Thailand is no more than 40% of what you would pay in Australia and often times less.
There are excellent clinics where you can visit a GP for in the order of 250 baht, which is approximately AUD$11, USD$8 or GBP 6.
Emergencies in Thailand
Thailand doesn’t have a fully developed Ambulance service like you have come to expect in countries such as Australia, the UK and the USA but most of the major hospitals have mobile intensive care ambulances that are equipped to provide on-site intensive care.
Considering the population, you will be surprised that you rarely see an ambulance racing through the traffic. For people living in Thailand. it is just a matter of obtaining the emergency number for the area or major hospital near your home.
Pharmacies in Thailand
Pharmacies are widespread in Thailand and will dispense most common medications without a prescription. You can get common used drugs antibiotics, anti-depression medication, Viagra etc. all without prescription.
If you require specific medications that are not widely used, you will most likely need to go to a larger Pharmacy, such as the Fascino chain. In some cases, particularly if the medication is new to the market it may only be dispensed by the pharmacies at the larger hospitals.
One thing to be aware of is that larger hospitals will charge a premium for medication, so it is best to avoid purchasing medications from those pharmacies where possible. If you see a doctor at a large hospital and are prescribed medication, it is possible to get the details of the prescription and purchase the medication at an outside pharmacy.