Thailand Healthcare: Medical tourism in Bangkok and Phuket
Published: November 18, 2011 at 10:51 am
Don’t be surprised if your need for a hip replacement or prostrate surgery lands you on a plane to Thailand. The global economic downturn has meant that everyone is searching for the best deals, not only in real estate but also on cars, holidays and medical fees. Governments and health care insurers are feeling the pinch and are consistently looking overseas for more cost effective treatments.
Thailand is emerging as a leader in this field
The growth in medical tourism in Thailand has been phenomenal over the past few years. The Kingdom emerged as the largest health and wellness destination globally by welcoming over 1.5 million medical tourists in 2009. And a report published by Marketsmonitor.com (Asian Medical Tourism Analysis 2008-2012) shows that revenue from the medical tourism industry is growing at a double digit rate. Already thousands of private individuals and insurance companies are opting to have treatment in Thailand.
Why has Thailand become a world leader in healthcare?
It’s not just the lower cost of treatment which attracts people, although for many individuals and insurers this obviously plays a part. Ruben Toral, marketing director at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok explained; "It's not just about the cost, quality is a major issue, the quality of care, the documentation, the delivery."
Walk into Bumrungrad or Bangkok-Phuket Hospital and you could believe you’ve entered a five-star resort. The reception lobbies are spacious, with café areas and restaurants and the smell of freshly brewed coffee not disinfectant. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and instinctively know how to be patient and caring. It’s a world away from the over-worked staff in the health care systems in Europe and the USA.Then consider your recuperation period; a week or two at a luxury hotel with lazy days relaxing by the pool or lounging on the beach.
At Bumrungrad arrivals from Asia or the Middle East have separate floors to make them feel at home. There is even an in-house travel agency to deal with visa extensions in case patients need to extend their stay. And it is not just plastic surgery that is performed at Thailand’s hospitals. Bumrungrad list their top treatments as Coronary Artery Bypass Graft, Balloon Angioplasty, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement Microdisectomy, Comprehensive Check-up, Spinal Fusion, Gastric Bypass, Prostate Surgery and Facelifts.
A quick search on their website will give you real time access to the cost of treatment and an online consultation with surgeons and doctors. All before you make the decision to fly out to Thailand.Continued on the next page