The first thing you should know is that Thai workers and foreigners legally working in Thailand are eligible for the country’s Social Security Scheme. Workers pay into the scheme, which then provides health insurance accepted at hospitals around the country. You will be relegated to the Social Security wing of the facility and those units are typically extremely busy.
If you are a foreign national living and working in Thailand, you may wish to consider purchasing private insurance for just that reason. Sometimes the wait time is significantly reduced. However, if you are a visitor, you are in a whole other ballgame and it behoves you to understand what you should do if you are injured or fall ill while in this Southeast Asian country.
Do the Research Before Embarking on Your Trip
Unless you are a repeat traveller to Thailand, it would be advisable to know your options prior to leaving on your trip. As a native English-speaking visitor, you may find that there are language barriers in outlying areas of the nation. Check out reviews to find the best hospital in Bangkok Thailand, the nation’s capital, and you are more likely to find one that is both highly rated and staffed with English-speaking doctors and nurses. Unless the injury or illness requires immediate emergency care, the trip to the capital may be well worth the effort, if for nothing more than assuring yourself your ‘complaint’ will be understood.
What You Should Know About Pharmacies in Thailand
While the nation’s capital may have some signs and products translated into English, the Thai alphabet probably isn’t one you can read unless you are of Thai descent or have studied the language over a period of years. Tradition has it that this alphabet stems back to around the year 1283 and was put into use by King Ramkhamhaeng. What is known is that it was at least partially influenced by the archaic Khmer alphabet which is also used in writing Pali and Sanskrit. These are other languages spoken in Thailand.
If you are looking for a specific medication, you will want to be in a pharmacy with at least one employee fluent in your native English language. Also, unlike other countries where you will automatically be given a generic form unless the name brand is requested, in Thailand, it works the reverse. You are given the more expensive brand unless you request a generic.
An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure
As our friends across the pond are wont to say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Therefore, it is best if you ensure you’ve had all your vaccinations before entering the country and know that you should drink bottled water and beverages. While Thai food is among some of the world’s most aromatic and tasty, you should also be careful of where you eat your meals each day. Injuries resulting from accidents might be avoided, but most often they hit you unawares.
The best advice is to be cautious so that you aren’t injured, but if you are, that early research can help you locate the nearest hospital to where you are staying. In the end, if you need extensive medical treatments, the best hospital in Bangkok might be preferential, so that’s where you should look. Just remember to seek a fluent speaker of English should you need a translator. You wouldn’t want to be treated for the wrong injury or illness, would you? Probably not, so keep all this in mind if you find the need to seek medical treatment during your stay in Thailand.