Learn about the healthcare system in Thailand
Healthcare in Thailand is an excellent quality - good news for international students who are studying there. Read on to learn more about health care in Thailand.
English-speaking general practitioners, dentists, and opticians are readily available in Thailand. You will find that most major provinces have at least one private hospital, and popular tourist destinations have more. Thailand’s health service infra-structure consists of three components: government health services, non-profit health organizations (NGOs), and the private medical sector.
In Thailand, government-funded health care is funded by the Department of Medical Services at the Ministry of Public Health. The Ministry is in charge of public health services, government hospitals, and medical services. Public health facilities in Thailand offer good medical services, but government hospitals are often crowded, which means waiting times can be long. In addition, facilities in public hospitals may not be as good as those in private hospitals in Thailand. Treatment is completely free for Thai citizens holding a Universal Coverage Health card, except on Saturdays, when a charge is made. This Universal Coverage Health card is issued by the National Health Security Office. Normal charges apply for non-Thais, but these charges will be less than in a private hospital.
Thailand is one of the leading medical tourism destinations in Asia. Most of the private hospitals in Thailand have excellent medical facilities and staff.
A variety of agencies exist in Thailand to help disadvantaged people. These agencies include the Red Cross, World Vision, and Médecins Sans Frontières.
Most of the doctors in Thailand are specialists. For this reason, it may be difficult for you to find a reliable general practitioner to treat you for minor medical issues. At a general hospital, you will most likely be examined by a doctor who is a specialist in a certain field. It may be difficult for this specialist to deal with a number of smaller medical conditions that you might have. The best idea for you might be to seek an internist as your first resort.
Please note that there are still major hospitals in Thailand that employ family doctors or medical practitioners. In addition, most doctors in Thailand do not have one specific place of work. Thai surgeons and physicians are employed at different hospitals that can be spread all over the city. Some of these doctors also have private clinics. For this reason, doctors in Thailand are likely to go from hospital to hospital to do their rounds. Some issues arise from this. For example, if you have just had surgery and a problem arises, your surgeon may have already left for another hospital, and may have to deal with your situation over the phone.
Emergency transport facilities in Thailand are unfortunately somewhat lacking. Although large hospitals in Thailand do have mobile intensive care units, you will rarely see an ambulance racing through the streets of Bangkok. Traffic accidents are attended to by volunteer organizations. The main obstacle in terms of emergency transport is the traffic in Bangkok; cars do not generally move out of the way for an ambulance.
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