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Pattaya Daily News

24 July 2008 :: 16:07:18 pm 25066

The expanding Thai Medi-Tourist service demonstrate world-class Facilities and Treatment

Normally, a trip to hospital is no cause for celebration, quite the opposite in fact. And, what's more, the trepidation and anxiety not only concerning the proposed treatment, but also the cost, are likely to exacerbate the illness, or at least to produce severe depression, which doesn't exactly aid the healing process.
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However, with the concept of medi-tourism, all this has changed. The main benefits of medical, or health tourism include the opportunity to travel to an exotic destination and reaping considerable financial savings. Two factors guaranteed to stimulate the immune system and aid healthy recovery by inducing the “feel-good” factor. While the concept of health tourism is hardly new, European spa centres like Baden-Baden and Bath, for example, have attracted the rich and famous for eons, going back as far as Ancient Greece, if not longer. However, the subtle differences between health tourism now and then are the speed of transit, the quality of treatment and the cost; you don’t have to be a celebrity to afford it!

Thailand figures strongly in terms of the contemporary medi-tourism market. It has excellent health care facilities, relatively low treatment costs and a superb climate to aid recovery. Currently, the cost of getting a medical check-up in Thailand is a fraction of what it costs in more developed countries.

Thailand has more than 400 private hospitals, where standards are high, in certain cases, world-class, yet costs are extremely competitive. Whether you require plastic surgery, lasik eye treatment, dentistry, or major heart surgery, you can be sure of round-the-clock, quality service in Bangkok, Pattaya and the other main provincial cities and tourist centres. And you don’t have to wait eons for treatment; another factor which is extremely detrimental to health and recuperation.


quently, visitors only realize the benefits of treatment, when they are actually here in Thailand on holiday. It’s hardly surprising then that many visitors decide to undergo surgery or other treatment in the Kingdom as part of their holiday stay. However, increasingly, savvy would-be patients surf the Internet to do their due medical diligence before coming out to a medi-care country, to compare costs, types of treatment and obtain feedback from those already treated.

TAT recommends certain hospitals for foreigners, such as Bumrungrad Hospital and Bangkok General Hospital, where all the doctors are internationally trained. Bangkok Hospital is another which ranks amongst the most advanced and comprehensive healthcare institutions in SE Asia. The other three hospitals in the group Bangkok International Hospital, Heart hospital and Wattanosoth Cancer hospital and more than 20 medical centres and six specialised clinics, offer the full spectrum of diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitation. In Pattaya, on the other hand, Bangkok Pattaya Hospital specializes in cosmetic procedures and surgery, offering a comprehensive medi-tourist service called Restored Beauty Getaways.

The Thai medical marketing and PR fraternity have rapidly wised up to the best way to attract new international patients. They make the medical visitors’ stay a hassle-free experience by arranging visas, insurance claims, ticketing, airline and hotel reservations, local transportation, postal services, bill payment, banking and even concierge services.


Cultural considerations also feature high on the hospitals’ facilitation services. Dr Michael Moreton, Deputy Director of Bangkok Referral Centre said: “Because we receive patients from more than 160 countries, we have realised that language could pose certain difficulties. We have appointed interpreters, not only in Arabic, but also in 25 other languages. We have also made provision for halal food and comfortable accommodation for them and their family members.”


In addition, doctors and specialists can rapidly obtain patient records by satellite. Hospitals employ staff fluent in English and other major languages, who also have foreign training and experience. This policy has paid dividends as, for example, last year, the Bangkok Hospital Medical Centre received over 140,000 patients from around the world with 19% of them coming from Gulf Arab states. Already in 2008, the hospital has treated 18,226 patients from the UAE, 3,152 from Oman and 3,046 from Qatar.

Seasonal timing is also crucial as the number of Qatari patients seeking treatment in Thailand rises considerably during the summer months of June to August. And it is a rapidly growing market, this year their number has risen over 100% compared to last year.

Of course, it’s not just foreign medi-tourists who can attest to the quality of medical treatment available here in Thailand. Foreign expatriates, executives of international corporations and embassy staff who are actually based full-time in the Kingdom, will all testify to the excellence of hospital treatment in Thailand, and to its comparatively low cost. They will advise that whether you are considering a check-up or a major medical procedure, you will enjoy prompt attention, immaculate comfort, highly professional staff, and friendly faces here in the Land of Smiles, which will not only considerably aid your healing process, but will also give you a thoroughly enjoyable experience, to boot.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Tourism News

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