Trip to a Chiang Mai Hospital

When making the decision to become an expat in Thailand, one question undoubtedly always comes up; what if you get sick or hurt, what will you do? Once you put the what if’s behind you and decide to go for it, you soon discover that many things outside of your native country can be quite good, even healthcare. I must admit I too had these same questions up until a week ago when I decided to see what the Thailand healthcare system is like for myself. Aside from the dodgy street clinic here and there for a medical certificate needed to obtain whatever Thai document was needed that week, I hadn’t experienced the healthcare system for myself (knock on wood).

So, when my uncle phoned me up to let me know he thought he broke his back (dirt bike wreck), I jumped at the opportunity to see what really went on in Thai Hospitals; after I checked to make sure he was alright of course (I’m not that vain!).

Sripat Hospital

Sriphat Hospital Chiang Mai

My uncle Pat had checked online and saw that there was a reputable clinic on the 12th floor of Sriphat Hospital, which is part of Chiang Mai University. Turns out, the Sriphat Hospital Wellness Center has recently moved into a brand new building across Suthep Rd. Instead of just pointing us in that general direction from the original Sripat Hospital, they put us in a mini van and drove us across the road.

The brand new building blew me away. It was beautiful, like something you would see in America. The Wellness Center is now located on the 5th floor. Once in the Wellness Center, you’ll be greeted by no less than four smiling English-speaking Thai nurses. You will be presented a pamphlet to help you decide which “program” you want to choose.

Here is how the program was when we were there: Click to see full image

Pat went for the Diamond program because he wanted to get his blood work done while we were there. Payment was made with credit card and he was taken right in to begin blood work, urine etc. This is where something different stood out to me. The nurse that drew his blood was not wearing gloves. Strange to me, because other nurses were walking around, as seen in video below, with gloves on. Nonetheless, blood work was completed and he was sent for a sonogram to make sure all vital organs looked normal. Pat claims the sonogram room was just as clean as the exam room we started the day in. Some waiting, and then the doctor showed up. The consultation was just as you would expect in your home country, and yes, the doctor spoke perfect English. The conclusion was his back was not broken, but rather a deep muscle contusion. Whew, I don’t feel so bad for calling him a sissy now!

Cost of Hospital Visit in Thailand

This varies depending on which program you settle on. This is for a very nice wellness center in a reputable Chiang Mai Hospital. Numerous clinics exist in any city in Thailand that will get you in with a doctor for as little as 80 baht ($2). (Click for updated post and video on Thailand hospitals, including an MRI at Chiang Mai Ram hospital)

Quality of a Thailand Hospital

 Again, depends on which clinic/hospital you go to. Personally, I want to go somewhere that looks clean and sanitary; some of these street clinics can look a little off-putting. If you choose a decent clinic/hospital, the care will be just as good, if not better than your home country.

Conclusion

On the whole, I was really impressed with the level of service of the Thai nurses, especially for the cost. Sure, it might cost $250 for the best program at this wellness center, but for the test being performed, this is far less than what it would have been in America, even with insurance.

Don’t take my word for it, check it for yourself. I tried to record as much as I possibly could of the interaction.

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  1. Patricia McShane February 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm · · Reply

    I am really enjoying your adventures! I applaud your bravery in taking this on. The best of luck to you both.

  2. Brittany Bennett February 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm · · Reply

    Thank you so much and glad to have you following along! 🙂

  3. ………..Just picked up a Forza myself, partly due to your good impressions of it

    • Awesome to hear! Hope you enjoy it as much as we have. I just updated the post on the Honda Forza Review page about the Flashing ABS Light. Just a heads up in case you run into that issue. It turned out to be a loose connection, nonetheless some new info on the problem if you ever see it.

      Thanks for reading!

  4. We’re planning a trip to be international for a year, and finding good health care while we’re abroad is definitely a concern of our families. (I’m much to hopelessly optimistic to worry 😉 It’s really helpful to find write ups like this of the realities to help put some of those fears to rest! Thanks so much!

    • Charlie and Brittany May 27, 2015 at 5:17 am · · Reply

      Thanks, Danielle! Glad you found it helpful! It was definitely one of our biggest concerns as expats and in traveling abroad. Its funny because now its one of our biggest draws to being an expat and one of our biggest concerns about ever going home (healthcare coverage!). Regardless, hopefully you stay out of the hospitals 😉 Safe travels!!

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