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Need info on a good hospital- UPDATE
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talktome



Joined: 26 Jun 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:26 pm    Post subject: Need info on a good hospital- UPDATE Reply with quote

Hey,

First of all, I really want to thank all those who had contributed to this thread. There is no such thing as giving too little info. Every little bit helps.
Well, as many Americans now know, there is a new law called the Affordable Care Act or simply Obamacare.
What gets people riled up is that they think this is mandatory for ALL Americans to have. For those living and working in the US, that is pretty much true. However, the responsibility of getting insurance is taken out of the hands of the employer and put into the hands of the people who need it. Also, there are tons of tax credits and deductions in place and people now have the power to choose how much coverage they want and the so-called 'insurance marketplaces' can give a person a quote based on their income, the size of their family, which state they live in, their age and so forth.
There is a lot of drama being hyped up in the news about people who are getting cut off from their previous plans. That is done because the many restrictions their plan had before Obamacare took effect. Theoretically, they can choose another plan that has the standards set by Obamacare and if or when they quit or get fired, their medical is not taken away- I know a lot of people are afraid to leave their job for fear of losing their health benefits. That is not the case anymore.
And what I like about the healthcare plan is that NO INSURANCE COMPANY TURN YOU DOWN BECAUSE OF AN EXISTING CONDITION. The day after New Years, I applied and was accepted into one of the best insurance plans they have. Before, they would reject me and they would either say that because of my pre-existing health conditions, I am a health risk or they would try to give me a health plan that was all skin and bones but try to sell the policy to me for as much as $700-$900 per month. Now, I have the best plan they have that has a tiny deductible and covers all my health needs, and it cost me $450 a month- now that might sound expensive and crazy, but if I have to go to the ER for something, they are not going to put me in the hallway and leave me there for hours. I can also see a private practitioner and skip the need to go to crowded hospital.
Finally, the coverage covers 100% of the treatment after paying the deductible and could be used to get care in another country- well, as long as the adjuster approves the doctors accreditation and the type of treatment I might need when I;m abroad.
Right now, I am going to try my luck here and if I am not better by this coming June, it looks like I will be going to either Thailand or India, which is 30% cheaper than the treatment I could get in Thailand.
I'll keep everyone posted on this because again, healthcare is one of the most important factors when choosing a job or a country to work in. Any info I get might help another person later if they find themselves in my shoes.




Hi,

I was surfing the net and I found some info about a hospital in or near Bangkok where the hospital rooms resemble hotel rooms, the doctors are western-trained and the staff was polite and helpful- not to mention there were some staff members who could speak English.
Before that, I was searching for info about places with great medical care and Thailand was near the top.

Does anyone have any information about quality of the hospital care as a whole and could recommend a nice hospital.
I'm not paying for it, so price is not a problem, only concerned about the quality and professionalism of the place.

If you want to know more information, pm me.
There is a whole drawn out story as to why, I have no problem telling you in a pm- but in short, this decision was based on the government's refusal to implement Obamacare and the vast bacteria contamination plaguing the VA medical system- 13 hospitals from California to South Carolina.

Thanx guys...


Last edited by talktome on Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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DrTongue



Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok a few times. Had high quality care, all staff were very nice and professional, and the doctors and nurses I dealt with all spoke excellent English. I've also had friends go there for surgery or consultations, and all seemed very satisfied. It's not cheap, but, if money's no object, you could do worse. Do some research on BIH and see if they suit you.
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BlueStater



Joined: 24 Oct 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Bangkok

PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to Bangkok Hospital - almost too nice to afford on my own, but I was just going for school - for check up, physical, etc. Super nice.

And, my wife recently gave birth at Praram 9 Hospital, which I can also vouch for as being quite nice.

Both places and many more in Bkk you can find nice hospitals, varying levels of English being spoken, and any/all services you might need.

Good luck!
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 584

PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumrungrad is an American run hospital, that by Thai hospital standards is expensive. Overall it isn't anywhere close to being as expensive as American hospitals. People come from all over for medical care here because the hospital is on par with the hospitals in California. It's a part of the same system that Cedar Sinai hospital in California is in. A simple hospital visit along with a few items of medication will cost 1500 Baht ($50 US).
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whitehouse



Joined: 06 Mar 2008
Posts: 27
Location: CHINA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see Praram 9 being mentioned below. I have been there to deal with an initial form of skin cancer. They were quite nice initially but that is the easy bit.They charged me $300 for one session with their machine to burn out the cancer and failed to burn it out and when I went back to complain were not nice at all and not particularly helpful.It was a dept really concerned more with beauty treatments rather than real health issues. I have found a skin ointment on my own which deals with the illness but effectively and a lot cheaper . Never mentioned by them.
I get the impression that a lot of Thai hospitals are trying to get on board this cash cow of charging foreigners 2 or 3 times as much as they can charge Thai customers basically for the same treatment in tarted up surroundings and less queuing.Even the state hospitals charge twice as much but I have always found them to be good at least in Bangkok. Cost may not bother you but I do not like being ripped off.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 584

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A double-standard would make me really angry too. It's one of the nice things about Thailand. I'm pretty sure you won't get one at Bumrungrad.

I went to a hospital in Lopburi once to get an eye exam and some glasses. In the end I ended out with some eye glasses that were garbage for $200. I was essentially ripped off by the Thai propensity for cutting costs and not loosing face when ripping off foreigners. There are some things that should be done at Bumrungrad only in my opinion.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will find as a Farang in Thailand Thai hospitals treat most (if not all) westerners with respect and dignity...the price is also right. I have found that doctors and nurses here really care about their patients and that medical care is relatively inexpensive wherever you travel to in the land of Smiles. I am married to a Thai and generally go to the government hospitals under the 30 Baht health scheme I usually get to see a doctor without any hassles at all. Medication is also relatively expensive. Actually if your sponsor is paying all the costs you should do just fine. Good luck! Smile
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talktome



Joined: 26 Jun 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information so far, it is helpful now that I'm the preparation phase.

However, I might have come across a possible roadblock; I had been in contact with the US embassy who had given me a list of hospitals (I could send that list upon pm). But they also noted that in Thailand, all payment for medical treatment up front.

If that is the case- then price DOES become a factor. I have a benefit that is called the Foreign Medical Program- it is a program that allows US veterans to seek medical care outside the US. What happens is that the hospital sends the VA bureau the bill and sending the VA the itemized bill translated into English.
However, if I have to pay for it up front and then wait to be reimbursed, it could push up my date of departure from January to possibly June.
Is it possible to pay in monthly installments?

Any and all info would be extremely helpful
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 118

PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry Thailand is a great place to come to for hospital care....just come here and hopefully all your financial medical problems will be solved. There are millions of veterans worldwide who come here for medical treatment. Thai hospiitals are ranked top in the world for both excellent service and professional Thai doctors together will high quality nursing care. Good luck!
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talktome



Joined: 26 Jun 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx

Right now, I am planning on going to Thailand at the end of January and stay for a month.
My questions now are in regards to making appointments and visas.

I had lived in South Korea for 10 years, there system is that you need to pay for the appointment on the day you make the appointment. It was the same in Colombia too.
Would it be safe to say that I need to wait until I arrive in Bangkok to make an appointment?

Now, stickler is the visa question- I read that I can get a tourist visa for 90 days upon arrival, which I plan to use between 29-40 days.
Although the initial visa is for 90 days- how could I get that extended? Or can I just fly to a nearby country, stay overnight or for the weekend and then return for another 90 days- is that possible.

I asked a mod if I get enough information about these things, this could be a sticky later.
I mean, I think a person's overall health is important when going some place, right?
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 584

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EFL Educator wrote:
Don't worry Thailand is a great place to come to for hospital care....just come here and hopefully all your financial medical problems will be solved. There are millions of veterans worldwide who come here for medical treatment. Thai hospiitals are ranked top in the world for both excellent service and professional Thai doctors together will high quality nursing care. Good luck!


Some of them may be good. But I wouldn't go to far in saying that. Bumrungrad has American standards, and the hospital the King (whichever one that is) is a good one too.
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DrTongue



Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:07 am    Post subject: Bumrungrad arrangements Reply with quote

Don't know about the visa, but if you've chosen has customer service people to advise foreigners, they may be able to advise you. When I went for treatment, I came in on the 30-day visa that I was eligible for and never needed to extend it, but Bumrungrad let me know that it could be done and that they'd assist me with it if it came down to it.

As for payment, Bumrungrad's policy is that payment is do at or before time of service. I'd suspect that other hospitals have the same policy, so be prepared for that. I paid in advance either via bank transfer or secure online credit card payment. (One upside to expensive surgery -- lots of miles.) The bills I got in advance of surgery detailed everything for a normal procedure. Heaven forbid something goes awry, but there's always a risk of complications requiring additional treatment and thus more money. In that scenario, Bumrungrad would present you with an additional bill upon discharge. I never found my bills inflated. In my situation, everything went well enough that the bill either evened out or I got money back the time my doctor decided to release me early.

Obviously, this is only my experience at one hospital, so you'll want to check this out for yourself. However, I'd wager that any Thai hospital that deals with significant numbers of farang has this info on their web site along with customer service reps to answer questions.

Hope that helps.
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talktome



Joined: 26 Jun 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey

Thank you for asking these questions Socratically.
Here's my info.
I'm not going there to work, so no sponsor.
I did email the US embassy as the VA referred veterans to contact them for info about hospitals in the country a person is looking into.
The Dept. of Veterans Affairs offers to pick up the tab for any medical care the veteran seeks in a foreign country- yet what I'm getting here and the info I got from the US embassy in Bangkok is pretty much similar, so I need to come up with about, give or take, $16,000 to pay for everything, though the VA is supposed to reimburse me, in theory- but I think that care in Thailand does seem to be on the lower end of the pay schedule and still seem pretty decent- someone advised me to go see some vids on the issue of medical tourism (which seems to be what its called now).
What surprises me is that there were a fair amount of people from Australia, New Zealand who take advantage of this kind of stuff. So, I am guessing that quite hospitals have encountered foreign patients before.

I was an ESL teacher for 6 years before. Which is how I got to know about Dave's. And one thing about Dave's is that it is not just for ESL teachers anymore and quite a few non-ESLers are now looking on Dave's for info on stuff since stuff here seems to be more up to date than some of the sites about places.

I would like to get any and all information you got on your experience dealing with Thai hospitals, even if its for a splinter or a cold, anything. I will also add stuff here too. One thing's for sure is that what ever info we share here, both good and bad would be beneficial for me as well as anyone else, right?

I did run across an article that the TAT, the official Thai tourism authority, has a website with hospitals and even tour operators who deal with people coming to Thailand for medical issues.

Between now and the time I plan to go to Thailand to see things and make and go to appointments, I will post any and all info I have- minus the private details


Thanx guys
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talktome



Joined: 26 Jun 2010
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have another question and I want to *bump* this topic to the top.

Well, I am an American and according to Wikitravel, I could get a visa-on-arrival at the airport in Bangkok, but it would be only for one month.
Now if I were to go to the Thai consulate in New York City and apply for a visa there, would I be able to stay longer?

I know people will say "read the board, you'll find your answer there." However, I have found that visa issued are pretty much fluid and change depending on conditions on the ground.
I looked on a whole bunch of different places and each site had a different answer, sometimes as vague and different from the last previous site, so it was difficult to sift the truth from the bull.

Well, thanks everyone and if you need any detailed info about my situation, you can always pm me and I would give you the lowdown on my situation.

However, I will say this- I am a veteran and am supposed to be entitled to go to the VA hospitals in the states. However, several factors, including the government shut down a few weeks ago, the continued cut in military/veteran spending and Obamacare, which is turning out to be worse than the medicaid public insurance.
The reason going to Thailand seems more appealing is because of the cost- for each of my ailments, treatment, medical and possible surgery ranges from $7000 to $9000US a piece and if there are any Americans out there, they know that orthopedic appointments are a long, drawn out process.
The price at an American hospital is about $130,000 for one procedure and about $75,000 for the other. This makes going to Thailand more appealing.
However, I did have surgery in South Korea once, but it was more of a stop-gap solution that unraveled after only 3 months and I knew a Canadian teacher who had surgery done on their back and had to be emergency taken back to Canada.

That's another thing too, I found out that Canada offers free care to soldiers who served in a NATO member country. So if there are any Canadians out there who could give me the skinny on Canadian healthcare, please let me too.

I can't thank you guys enough.
I'll keep in touch.
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DrTongue



Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I don't know the answer to your visa query. Your best bet is to get in touch with the New York consulate (or whichever one is closest) and follow up with them. Many hospitals that deal with foreigners will have customer service reps who will field queries via email. You could certainly try asking them, but I suspect they'll tell you to get in touch with the nearest Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate.
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