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Your Health and Thailand’s Healthcare Options for Expatriates
Believe it or not, the healthcare options in the kingdom of Thailand are decent. You will find that the costs of treatment in Thailand are often considerably lower than the costs of treatment in alternative countries. When visiting hospitals in Thailand you will find physicians and staffs that will be able to communicate with you in the English language. You can easily get eye care, dental care, and care from a general practitioner in Thai. There are both hospitals and private clinics, and doctors tend to specialize in one area of medicine, so you might have to see a number of doctors if you require treatment over the long-term.
While there is state health insurance available to all of the natural residents of Thai, as an expatriate you are ineligible for such insurance: This means one of two things. You can either buy your own private insurance policy so you have coverage or you can pay the medical bills presented to you as is without coverage. If you are working for a big company, you might be supplied with this private insurance and if you are a student, you might get some very basic coverage. Such insurance will not cover the birth of a child or prenatal and maternity visits.
Getting Quality Private Insurance
There are well over 450 hospitals in the kingdom of Thai that have outstanding medical services, skilled doctors, and amazing health facilities. When it comes to getting full health coverage, there are companies within Thailand as well as those that are internationally based that will insure you for a relatively reasonable fee. You can get full health coverage and you will find the price far lower than if you were in another country seeking the same coverage.
If you get insurance from an International insurance provider, it will cover you while you are visiting in Thailand and nowhere else. When you are looking to get private insurance, it is no different than when you are in the West: You need to examine the list of pre-existing conditions insurance will not cover and you need to find out what a policy excludes to see if it will give you the coverage you will require. Policies are dependent upon coverage selected including both outpatient and inpatient coverage options. If you choose outpatient coverage only, you can be treated in a hospital and sent home where treatment continues. If you upgrade this option to outpatient coverage with extra coverage for disability accidents, or illnesses that are considered major, you can also get full hospital coverage when it is deemed medically necessary. As an alternative, you can get national coverage from the companies in Thailand, but this type of insurance is not automatically renewed, even if you pay your policy on time.
You might find it surprising coming from a Western country where prescriptions are required that you can walk into a pharmacy in Thailand and buy things like anti-depressants and antibiotics without a prescription required. The pharmacists in Thailand will not be able to give you a lot of detailed information about medication however, and this differs from the pharmacists in the states as well.
Emergency Situations & Non-Profit Emergency Help
In the US, the number 911 is the universal emergency number. In Thailand, the emergency number you would call for assistance is 191. In regard to non-profit emergency assistance, there are a couple of organizations that have been established to help those who are in need. Such organizations include Médecins Sans Frontières, World Vision, and the Red Cross.