Top 10 Reasons to choose Thailand as your medical travel destination
In our previous blog post we talked about the benefits, in general, of what is mainly referred to as medical tourism or medical travel. In this one we are going to focus on our main medical tourism destination: Thailand. Why should you choose to go to Thailand (whether Bangkok, Phuket or other featured destinations on our website)? What is so good about Thailand that millions and millions of patients decide (and have decided in the previous decades) to travel there for medical treatment?
Well, let us give you some details, here are our Top 10 reasons to pick Thailand as medical travel destinations and understand why we at MedTravel Asia, and millions others, love it.
1. Cost savings
A hip surgery (total hip replacement) performed at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok (one of the top ranked hospitals in the world) costs about US$ 19’000 (including surgical fees, doctor’s fees, medicine, lab tests, room fees…) compared to the US$ 53’000 mean price (up to US$ 105’000) for the same surgery in one of the top-ranked US hospitals or US$ 41’000 mean price (up to US$ 125’000) in one non-top-ranked US hospital. The same hip replacement procedure in Australia has a mean price of US$ 31’000   and of about US$ 25’000 in the United Arab Emirates. These savings can go anywhere from 15-85% among almost any procedure available, in any field of medicine and surgery.
2. Better quality care
Thailand is home of the first hospital in Asia to receive the Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation in 2002. Since then the JCI has awarded 55 Thai organization with their accreditation as well as with other certifications for specialty treatment programs. Many more hospitals are ISO certified too and although this is not a type of hospital accreditation it still gives us an insight on quality of the management and consistency in the delivery of service. Many physicians were trained or studied abroad at medical centers of excellence and their international experience can provide you the latest and safest techniques available worldwide; furthermore, many of them are board certified to work also in other countries (such as the US, Japan, UK, Australia, Germany …) for the same reason they also do speak English (or other foreign languages), but translation services are available to avoid any language barrier issue.
3. Better recovery
Many factors influence and can speed up and improve the recovery process. In Thailand you’ll experience not only an incredibly high quality of care and expertise, some of the best nurse/patient and doctors/patient ratios, recovery rooms and customer service to the level of a 5* hotel and many other critical factors that will lower you pre-op and post-op stress levels. Moreover, after discharge you will keep recovering in one of the many beautiful hotels or resorts and will be able to experience the beauty of Thailand, according to the procedure you underwent that will anyway define some limitations. This is definitely better than recovering at home, with the burden of daily home and living tasks to keep carrying out, thus the definition “medical holiday” that sometimes is used to refer to medical tourism.
4. Specialty treatments
Some procedures might not be available in your home country while they might be available in Thailand, for example some kind of assisted reproductive technology or stem cells treatments. Other procedures are widely practiced in Thailand (ie. Sex Reassignment and many cosmetic surgery procedures) so that not only the surgeons have great knowledge and skills, but also a huge experience due to the high number of patients treated not comparable to other surgeons and hospitals in your home country. For other treatments, Thailand and its hospitals have the best and latest equipment available regardless of costs (robotic surgery, cancer treatments, anti-aging, …) thanks to the public and private investments in the healthcare sector over the last decades, which combined with the updated knowledge and experience of the physicians place them amongst the best care-providers in the world.
5. Shorter waiting periods
Thailand developed a system which has very short and sometimes almost non-existent waiting lists. This will save you the wait, the stress, the pain and possibly the negative health consequences of having to wait a prolonged period of time to receive medical treatment. Using total hip replacement again as example, the mean waiting period in Australia for that type of procedure was 69-167 days depending on the state, with 1,7-16,2% of patients having to wait more than 365 days!  In England the average wait time was 78 days and in Canada was 42-178 days depending on province. 
6. More in-patient friendly
In Thailand you will be discharged just at the most appropriate time for you, boosting recovery and lowering the possibility of post-op complications. On the other hand, private and public hospitals and insurances all over the world try to cut down the in-hospital stays to save money.
7. New experience
Love food? Thailand has an incredible and growing foodie scene with some of the best restaurants in Asia as well as in the World with a wide range of different type of cuisines. Want to feel energized, meditate and experience Thai Buddhism? Bangkok alone has more than 400 temples. Love tropical weather and beaches? You’ll find some of the world’s finest in Thailand. Plenty of reasons to travel and experiences and things to do for all tastes, all of which you can enjoy with your travel companion or with a group tour.
8. Easy entry procedures
Passport holders from 49 countries are entitled to stay in Thailand for up to 15-30-90 days without applying for a visa (Visa Exemption scheme). Since 2013 people from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, are entitled to stay in Thailand for medical treatment up to 90 days without a visa.
9. Range of Service
Many countries offer specialty medical treatment for medical tourists, but they usually focus on a niche and is usually limited to the field of plastic surgery (like Turkey for hair transplant, East Europe for dental treatment, South America for cosmetic surgery). In Thailand the many private hospitals and clinics with their innovative structures and equipment can provide highly skilled physicians for a wide range of specialties under one roof, making possible to undergo several procedures without having to travel from one country to another and as we stated already, but we’ll never be tired of reiterate, the Thai quality of treatment is not average or below average, on the contrary it is above average and generally excellent!
10. Thai Hospitality
Customer service is another jewel in the crown of Thai healthcare and Thailand in general, reason why it is often called “The Land of Smiles”. Whether you’ll be at a hospital or clinic, at the hotel, in a restaurant, on the street, on a plane, in a shopping mall, … you’ll be surrounded by truly smiling, kind, helpful and caring people. As one of the most visited countries in the world with over 35 million international travelers choosing Thailand as their destination, Thai people strive for excellence in hospitality.
 Forbes.com: goo.gl/SWMqqY
 Therichest.com: https://goo.gl/7Q0M36
 Topmastersinhealthcare.com: https://goo.gl/HLRhCt
 Ontoplist.com: https://goo.gl/ocFqFl
 JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association): https://goo.gl/siGUCY
 ITMJ (International Medical Travel Journal): https://goo.gl/i5Y7MS
Medical Blogger committed to accuracy, I am passionate about delivering my readers critical insights into the medical field.
Former paramedic, instructor and medical school student.
You can read more about me in the dedicated section of the website.