Tuesday, June 1, 2010


And at this window you get your MEDS
Get your blood pressure checked

and weight and height

pick up your records at the window

tell the nurse what ailes you and get assigned to the right Dr. and care for your problem

Sit amd wait till they call your name

If you have a dental problen you cane make a appointment to have work done , but if emergency there is a dentist on duty.

Don't worry they WILL call your name before the day is over .

After living in the LOS for almost 6 years I have come to relize that there are soooo many things that amaze me, and some amaze me more than others . The one think that really amazes me is the way the local hospital and clinics can take care of so many folks at one time.Making sure everyone sees the right Dr , and that noone is left behind. I remember in the USA that if there were more than 10 folks waiting to see the Dr. that day you might as well forget it , and most of the time you have to make a appointment weeks in advance just to get in , and sometimes to be told " Sorry the Dr, is booked solid for the next 3 months and then he is taking a month long vacation, can I make an appointment for you at that time ??"And so you call anoyther Dr. hoping you can get to see him or her and you are told " sorry the Dr. is not taking on any new patiences at this time" . It sounds like a joke , but this is real in the part of the country we lived in and , even if you had company insurance coverage , you still had to wait till there was an opening.If it is a real emergency , you could always go to the "Emergency Room" and wait sometimes for hours until a inter-Dr. or a Nurse would see if they could help you , if not ,they would make you an appointment to see a real Dr. next month maybe. And they would have to come and give you smelling salts after you fainted, when they handed you the bill for the Emergency Service and you saw how much ,and that had to be paid for NOW, and you said to yourself "was I really THAT sick "
I have noticed that this is not the case in Thailand , the Doctor is always in and they will take care of you to the best of their ability and if they can't help you, they will take you to the nearest hospital that can. This has been my experience here in the LOS. Ciejay has to go to the hospital every month, because she has had a valve replacement and she takes warfin to keep her blood thin to prevent a stroke, everytime we go the place is full of all kind of sick folks and the Dtr. and Nurses are sooo busy takeing care of them and I can see that they do it with a smile too, they are sooo good to Ciejay and noone in all of our Six years of going to the hospital in Kanchanaburi has she ever been mistreated, and not only Ciejay , but all the hundreds that are there and most with out an appointment and no calling ahead , and they are taken care of just the same , you may have to sit and wait your turn , but before the day is finished the DOCTOR will see you .
Thats just another one of the reasons why we are Retired in Thailand and Loving It.
Took a few pictures today while we were there you can see a little of what I'm talking about .


Mike said...

Malcolm I am sure you are right. I have had no problems accessing medical services since I have lived here albeit at a price.

Where we differ at home (UK/US) is the UK NHS, something your current President is trying to change. I shudder sometimes at the way US citizens are treated if they don't have the money or relevant insurance.

Thank God here in LOS they have the 30 Baht system(and we know who introduced that)for the ordinary folk.

Talen said...

Great post Malcolm, I haven't seen the medical services other than when I have had need and there was no waiting necessary as I had an open wallet...still cheaper than home though.

Mike, While our president is trying to change the system...and poorly at that. All U.S. citizens have access to emergency care without being turned away for lack of insurance and or money.

No matter if it's a sore throat or a heart attack the hospitals have a legal mandate to treat any patient that walks through the door regardless of their status.

Martyn said...

Malcolm fortunately I've never had to use a Thai hospital as my own health has remained good (touch wood) but I have visited a couple of Wilai's family over the years. The staff have always appeared very friendly and ultra helpful and are a great credit to Thailand's health service. Although I must admit it does take a few wild buffaloes to drag me into a hospital compound.

For future posts on this subject could you include a few close ups of some gorgeous Thai nurses in their lovely uniforms. If it wasn't for them then those buffaloes wouldn't stand a chance.

thaikarl said...

that looks just like the hospital here in Lom Sak. and the one in Phetchaboon. true, you might have to wait, but you will get seen. if you don't want to wait so long at the hospital, there are all those little shop-front clinics. you pay slightly more, but you see a doctor. i waited no longer than an hour for 4 clinic doctor visits last year when i had bronchaitus here. i paid a 150 baht per visit, plus meds.

yes, hospitals in the US are required to treat you at the emergency room, but you will wait a long long time, get treated with indifference sometimes - after all there are people bleeding in the waiting room and you just what, have a pain in your arm? sore throat and a little fever? AND they WILL send you a FAT bill, and then turn you over to collections when you don't pay. that is my experience with health care in the USA. in seattle years ago, i went to emergency room with excruciating horrible pain in my arm - pinched nerve of some sort. they took and x-ray, couldn't see anything, parked me in the hallway for 3 hours, gave me a painkiller shot (that didn't do anything) and sent me a bill for $500.00 i kept getting calls and letters for months. i was un-employed at the time.

Lawrence said...

Good post, Malcolm. The Thai health system is certainly worthy of some positive feedback. The little local health centres do a good job, too, and the community nurses.
I have spent time in private hospitals in Bangkok and the 30-bed public one in Phana. Had really good treatment every time. And on my last visit I had a check-up in Ubon just to get my name on their computer in case of an emergency in the future. Again, they were very thorough, very pleasant. The 30 Baht system doesn't get you very far, but it is fine for treatment of very minor things.

Camille said...

Hi Malcolm,

It looks like about your average government hospital and I visited it many times with my wife and both of our children are born in the local government hopsital on Koh Samui.

Ifg you don't want to wait that long on Samui, you have the choice of visiting 4 different privat hospitals as well, although you will pay for them.

The 30,-THB system is indeed good for minor treatments but won't get you anywhere if you need some serious treatment.

dc_publius said...

30 Baht system doesn't get you very far. Still, do you think that this is a sustainable system? Costs will catch up and it will go bankrupt. It is running a huge deficit and that money has to come from somewhere or someone.

While the US system sucks sometimes, people usually blow things out of proportion. Sure, if your mind is set on one specific doctor, you may have trouble. That is why there is more than one doctor in town. Are you able to chose your own doctor and appointment time in LOS under 30 baht system?

In terms of costs, most Americans have health insurance and consequently costs are low. I hate it when people compare some Thai dentist $100 procedure to USA $800 procedure. For most US people, that $800 procedure costs $50 after insurance. Cheaper than Thailand!

That brings us to insurance costs in the US. I am not sure how the rates go up for older people, but for people under 50, insurance is dirt cheap. If your company doesn't already provide coverage, you just have to get high deductible insurance and you will be paying $100-200/month. That is quite cheap.

With all this said, there are some exceptionally good Thai hospitals. There are also some good reasons to come to Thailand for treatment. People who didn't plan things well in their home country and are stuck with a medical problem and no insurance are good candidates for a LOS visit. Additionally, some preferable procedures are not always covered by some insurance companies.