Thailand does not have a free public medical system like most countries in Europe have. If you have to go to the doctor here or be hospitalized, you’ll have to pay full price when your treatment is done.
This of course should not be a problem for you as you never should travel anywhere without travel insurance. If you get heavily injured or serious sick in Thailand, and need comprehensive medical treatment, the bill can reach sky high levels very fast. Luckily, I have never been heavily injured or serious sick in Thailand.
However, I have been a couple of times at the doctor here, and been hospitalized once. To give you an idea of what medical treatment costs in Thailand, I will list all my visits here for you.
Cause: Twisted ankle when jumping drunk
Symptoms: Swollen foot, impossible to walk
Location: Koh Pha Ngan
Hospital: Ko Phangan Hospital (Public hospital)
Treatment: Rented crutches for two days
Price: 1000 baht in depositum. 50 baht per day for the crutches. 400 baht to see doctor.
Comment: Doctor pushed for x-ray, 1500 baht. I said it was not necessary.
Cause: HIV test for two people
Symptoms: Met a cute Thai girl, wanted to bang her without condom.
Clinic Thai Red Cross Clinic
Treatment: None, the test was negative. 😀
Price: 200 baht per person
Comment: Read full story here.
Cause: Ear ache
Symptoms: Pain in the ear and reduced hearing
Hospital: Bumrungrad International Hospital
Treatment: Removal of earwax at ENT doctor
Price: 800 baht in doctor fee
Medicine: 1800 baht for antibiotics and pills to reduce swelling
Comment: Antibiotics was unnecessary. Did not take them. Was fine two hours after wax removal.
Cause: Infected wound at foot
Symptoms: Pain, itching, swelling and green pus
Clinic: Just a random clinic in Bangkok, don’t remember the name.
Treatment: Cleaning of the wound and applying of cream
Price: 600 baht for doctor fee and a box of antibiotic cream.
Cause: Food poisoning
Symptoms: Diarrhea, vomiting, severe stomach pain and mild fever
Location: Chiang Mai
Hospital: Central Chiang Mai Memorial Hospital
Treatment: General medical check, exclusion of appendicitis and hospitalized one night for monitoring.
Price: 4500 baht. That includes doctor fee, my own room and medicines. Medicines was pain killers and antibiotics intravenously mixed with salt water to avoid dehydration.
Some tips to save money if you travel without travel insurance and a warning about medical treatment in Thailand.
A lot of doctors in Thailand will push for comprehensive medical examinations for even the smallest issue. Like when I twisted my ankle the doctor tried to “sell” me a x-ray. I knew of course that my foot was not broken…
Another thing doctors here will do is to give you a shit ton of medicines for even the most mundane stuff. I once went to the doctor with some minor stomach trouble (because my Thai girlfriend forced me) and the doctor gave me like 5 different pills to take several times daily for 2 weeks + antibiotics for five day. I did not take any of it, and when I woke up the next day nature had done its job.
Another time I went to the dentist because I had a minor infection in the gum. I went to the dentist just to check that it was not affecting the tooth nerve close by, because that can be painful as fuck. The tooth was fine but he gave me a really expensive antibiotics that I should take for 10 days.
I called my doctor back in Norway and he said that in Norway they only give that antibiotic if you have a serious life-threatening infection with high fever.
My doctor home said that I should NOT take them because they would fuck up my stomach for weeks with diarrhea, constipation and just general stomach pain. Yeah… A fucking dentist gave me that shit like it was candy…
If you get sick down here, and you don’t have travel insurance. Make it clear that you just want the absolute necessary treatment, and nothing more. That way you can save a shit ton of money on unnecessary pills and examinations.