Many from North America and Western Europe have chosen to immigrate to Asia. These immigrants have become enamored not only with the people and culture, but also the way of life in the country. Foremost among the Asian countries that have become a favored destination is Thailand. While there are many positive benefits in moving to the country, one of the most prickly issues was healthcare in Thailand.
The country is officially called the Kingdom of Thailand and is located right in Southeast Asia. The country is nestled on the Gulf of Thailand and is bordered to the east by Malaysia, Cambodia and Laos. To the west is found Myanmar and the Andaman Sea. The country’s capital is Bangkok and is a constitutional monarchy.
One of the problems about healthcare in Thailand is that there is no primary health care system. Most of the doctors in the country are specialists and there is a dearth of general practitioners in the country. This makes minor health care a problem in the country. These specialists also do not work full time as they are consultants for other hospitals. These specialists also have private clinics, thus making post treatment medical care a problem.
Another problem is the lack of an established medical insurance system in the country. Many of the transactions concerning medical services in the country are done on a cash basis. While there are some medical insurance companies that have made inroads in the country, the premiums though are quite high, some even worth double the normal premiums for the same services.
Another major problem is emergency transport facilities in the country. Many of the hospitals in Thailand have mobile intensive care units allowing for treatment of emergencies. Emergency ambulances cannot be seen in the country and instead volunteer organizations provide the rescue services. This is due to the congested traffic situation in the country’s streets.
For proper health care in Thailand, you need to have one of two things, either money or insurance coverage. Many foreigners have the obligatory medical insurance but it would not hurt to have cash or credit on hand for medical emergencies. It is an unwritten rule in the country that you need to put money up front for any medical assistance that you need. In other countries, because of medical insurance, many hospitals admit emergency cases and provide medical care. This is not the case in Thailand, as the system of health care in the country still is in its infancy and very much scattered.
In general, living in Thailand is very pleasant experience. It is called the land of smiles with a beautiful landscape and favorable climate for rest and recreation. One issue that is of great concern for many tourists and expats is the system of health care in Thailand. As advised in the Expat Forum, “see to it that you already have applied for an international health care system insurer. That way, you will not have to worry about anything, especially in medical emergencies.” Once properly covered and with a piggy bank for emergencies, your stay in Thailand would be devoid of medical issues and health care problems.