Healthcare in Thailand for the over 60s

by Dr Donna Robinson
Medical Health Insurance Thailand

The medical care provided in Thailand has always been of exceptional quality. Thailand has high quality hospitals in every single province, public and private, especially in Bangkok. All of these hospitals and other medical clinics are easily accessible; most of them have 24 hour services, or are open for up to 10 or 12 hours and are in convenient locations all around Thailand. Some even provide special after hours services, home treatment services, and emergency hotlines. Simply calling into the hospital will allow one to book an appointment with ease. When one reaches the age of 60, they worry about health insurance and ensuring that they get the best healthcare possible. In other countries, it may be that healthcare is expensive or inaccessible. However, in Thailand the standard of healthcare and its price as well as accessibility is of great quality and convenience to the patient.

Depending on ones income and the standard of treatment required, one can choose their hospital according to their needs. However, the standard of medical care in local and regional government hospitals are of high quality, providing services at a high standard at an affordable price. Government hospitals like Chulalongkorn, Ramathibodi, and Siriraj can provide exceptional care and are some of the best hospitals in the world. For example Chulalongkorn Hospital has an evening clinic that opens at 16:30 hours which generally has significantly less waiting time and Siriraj also has introduced a new private hospital called Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun, which can fulfil every medical need.

Healthcare Thailand

Thailand is the leading country in SE Asia for JCI accredited hospitals with 66 of them and is fourth leading in the world. JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditation is only given to hospitals with performance, structures, and functions with high quality standards. Hence, JCI certified hospitals will provide the best medical care and protocol.
This allows all people: young and old to be able to receive the best quality of healthcare. The concerns that come with being over 60 is that one is at risk for many illnesses, and taking precautionary and preventative steps as well as treating illnesses so that the patient is living a healthy life is essential. The following aspects in the Thai medical system ensure that people over 60 are given the best possible medical care.

Availability of generic drugs

Availability of generic drugs

Generic drugs are widely available in Thailand. Generic drugs are duplicates of brand-name drugs that have exactly the same dosage, intended use, effects, side effects, risks, and strength as the original drug. Their pharmacological effects are exactly the same as their brand-name equivalents. They automatically inherit approvals as well as the original drug has already been approved for certain treatments or diseases, hence it is much cheaper to manufacture generic drugs and the cost is lower as well. When buying medication, it can be cheaper to opt for the generic drug option and can reduce the medical bill by a significant amount. Many pharmacies even ask if you would like to buy the generic drug or brand name, otherwise one can inquire as well as almost all pharmacies have both options.

Vaccinations

Vacccinations Thaialnd

Many people come to Thailand for easier access to medicines and vaccinations and for their low-cost. Cost of vaccines in Thailand are generally much cheaper, such as a rabies shot in US could be around $200 but be as low as $11 here. We encourage people to take their vaccines in Thailand unless they can get them for free of charge in their home country. This can allow people over 60 to save a significant amount on their medical bill.

Laboratories in Thailand

The quality of laboratories and testing is excellent as well, with most of the labs being ISO certified, such as N health lab, whose testing passes every possible international quality standard. With almost every lab, medical test reports are emailed or sent to you electronically, but with government hospitals you may have to go retrieve it. This is beneficial as you can get your results quicker electronically, even if you are overseas or travelling.

Health insurance

Given that you can pay for many aspects of your own healthcare when in Thailand then insuring for high risk in patient is important so that you have the health cover when you need it.

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