Many countries compete for medical tourists’ dollars. Almost every country in the world promotes medical tourism, with many countries specializing in specific procedures or treatments.
Thailand is no exception and is widely regarded as one of the world’s top medical tourism destinations. Here are a few of the reasons:
Cost of Treatments & Living
Of course, the main reason for choosing another country for medical treatment is cost. For major procedures, Thailand can offer prices that are a fraction of the cost in many Western countries. For example, the cost of a cardiac bypass in Thailand is $15,000, compared to $123,000 in the United States, according to medicaltourism.com. 35,000) or hip replacements (Thailand: $13,900; $40,364; significantly cheaper).
Even cosmetic surgery is a lot cheaper in Thailand, with breast implants (Thailand $3,500–$6,400), a facelift (Thailand $3,950–$11,000), and a tummy tuck (Thailand $4,000). Everything is optionally less expensive (US$8,000). Aside from the cheaper cost of surgery, the cost of living in Thailand is extremely low. Groceries, hotels, shopping, and public and private transportation cost a fraction of the price compared to most Western countries. Even with the added cost of flights, accommodation, and living expenses in Thailand, treatments would still be much more affordable than in the United States.
World-Class Facilities & Staff
It is worth noting that while Thailand is very cheap for medical treatment, it is not lacking in facilities, cleanliness, and medical professionals. There are two types of hospitals in Thailand; public or government hospitals and private hospitals. While public hospitals are generally average, private hospitals have some of the highest standards in the world. Staying in one of the large private hospitals in Bangkok is more like a luxury resort than a medical center. You may be very surprised if you have never experienced hospitalization in Thailand.
A top-of-the-line private hospital offers studio-apartment-sized rooms, often with balconies overlooking the entire city. Here you will also find the latest medical equipment and staff who can speak English. Physicians working in private hospitals in Thailand have generally been trained abroad and hold certifications from at least two medical associations outside the country. Due to the importance of medical tourism, the Medical Council of Thailand conducts regular inspections to ensure hospitals meet international standards in terms of quality of care and facilities.
Medical Treatment Packages
Something you may not have encountered in your home country is the use of medical treatment packages. These “deals” combine two or more treatments in one visit to save on the cost.
These packages may include surgery, cosmetic enhancements, or general health checkups. Usually, they are sold by a medical tourism company, however, many hospitals have adopted in-house packages for patients.
If you are planning on having two or more treatments while in Thailand, it is well worth inquiring about a potential discount or package with your chosen hospital.
Thailand Culture & Life
Of course, the culture and lifestyle of the country are another reason to choose Thailand as a medical tourism destination. Thailand is a famous destination for all types of tourists due to its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, friendly people, and affordable lifestyle. As a general destination, Thailand should be high on many travelers’ wish lists if you are visiting the country for medical reasons, you can also take advantage of the many tourist attractions that Thailand has to offer.