Thursday, August 04, 2005

Medical Vacations

Darshani made a comment on my blog yesterday about my getting my teeth pulled and she said "By the way, if it makes you feel better about cost, I just had two fillings repaired and my portion of the bill was $130!"

There is a trend going on right now for medical vacations: people come to Thailand to have surgery or have other medical procedures done at about 1/4 of the price the US charges. Golf's former boss comes to Thailand frequently on business and while she is here, she gets any medical care done here such as regular check-ups or dental care.

Here is an article on the phenomenon with links on more information and here it is if you don't want to go to the link.

Are you planning a surgical procedure in the near future?
What is it going to cost you in you home country?
Perhaps you could combine that surgery with your next holiday and take your convalescence at a beachside resort. Medical vacations are becoming a growth industry thanks to a fortunate combination of low cost, but high quality medical care and a wide variety of very affordable tourist attractions.
Popular treatments vary from general checkups, dental care, hip replacement, lasik, plastic and heart surgery. In
Phuket there is one hospital that specialises in sex change operations.
The combined cost of travel, accommodation and surgery may well turn out to be less than the cost of the surgery alone in your home country.
Thai care even proves popular among those with government health insurance. Many say they would rather pay for everything themselves than wait several months for admission in their own countries where medical staff may take an off-handed approach.
From my own experience I can say that having a tooth crowned here will cost around $300 for a molar. A procedure to remove a gall bladder, using the latest "key hole" surgery techniques was $700 and involved only 2 nights stay in hospital. Hospital room charges are most expensive in
Bangkok, but even so will be less than $100 per night and in Pattaya the charge will only be $50 per night for a private room with air-conditioning, television and refrigerator. All private hospital rooms have a full length couch, where a relative or friend can sleep if they wish to stay with the patient.


Mel said...

Yikes! What happens when they botch it?

I'm happy to make it a point to have a job where medical/dental insurance is provided, as it is with most jobs I've ever had. That's why we get get educated and work hard, so we can have these little luxuries, like jobs that provide insurance for you and your family. :)

Amy said...

I wish it was as simple as that Mellington. My husband has his Master's Degree and I have a Bachelor's. He's self employed, therefore we have to buy our own insurance and it's just through the roof expensive. I've been reading articles and becoming more and more informed about the state of health insurance in the US and there are tens of thousands of workers out there who have also worked hard and have a good education, but their employers cut benefits just the same. Their benefits are either cut or they must take a job without benefits, as it is with many smaller companies. Fewer and fewer companies offer full benefits for their employers these days, so now more Americans are feeling it in their pocketbooks and it's painful!

Amy said...

Forgot to add that Health Care reform is a MUST for this country and it MUST happen soon!!!!

Michelle said...

Amy, I agree. I also have a college degree and an excellent education, yet in the last 15 years of working in the US I've only had TWO jobs provide health insurance. The others didn't as it's too expensive. Last time I worked in the US, health insurance was going to be around $300 a month, and I just couldn't afford it. More and more companies in the US are now either not providing health insurance at all or requiring their workers to pay a large percentage of it.
Even when you retire, health insurance isn't free like it is in most other developed countries. My parents pay $170 a month for both of them to be covered by Medicare. Appalling! It's a large part of the reason why they are thinking of taking their American-made money and retiring to Spain with it.

Here in Thailand, my school provides free health insurance and it's quite good coverage - would completely cover me for almost everything.