Medical Tourism Thailand
Visa Requirements: A valid passport and return ticket are required. Visa not required for stays up to 30 days.
Thailand has all but established itself as king of the castle when it comes to international medical tourism. The affordable prices combined with high levels of quality care in a country rich in culture, natural beauty and amazing food all combine to make Thailand the first choice for many seeking medical treatment abroad. In fact, Thailand is one of the world’s preferred destinations for all types of treatment including medical, cosmetic and dental procedures.
Pros: Thailand stands as one of the world’s top tourism destinations, which means the country is long accustomed to receiving foreign travelers. In the big cities, English is understood, especially at private clinics that will interest tourists looking for treatment. The cost of a flight ticket, food and accommodation and the procedure itself can add up to less than the price of a procedure in North America. Throw in the fact that Thailand has much to offer as a regular tourist spot, this Southeast Asian country is set to remain a favorite medical tourism destination for a long time to come.
Cons: While most medical practitioners in Thailand are experienced and well-qualified, there are some doctors whose reputations can be less than ideal. Medical tourists should shop around to make sure they’re getting the best treatment possible and that the price is not the only consideration. Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia experiences three distinct seasons, and it is important to choose the right time to come. The rainy season can be unpleasant at times, with hard downpours that regularly flood the streets of cities. The summer season can see temperatures reach uncomfortable levels along with debilitating humidity and pollution.
Thailand is a world leader in the medical tourism industry and the country’s private hospitals and clinics are able to perform all kinds of surgeries from heart procedures to hip and joint replacements and recuperative operations after injury. Bangkok has several hospitals that are used to receiving foreign patients, and the number of hospitals means that it’s easy to get a second opinion and find a doctor you’re comfortable with before gong under the knife.
Thailand’s cosmetic surgeons have profited from Thailand’s reputation for medical tourism. The prices for elective surgery can be a fraction of what they would be in the west, with the quality level being consistently high. While common procedures such as face lifts, tummy tucks and breast augmentation are widely available, Thailand is also a world specialist in sex reassignment surgery. Procedures of this nature include facial feminization surgery and vaginoplasty.
Thailand is known for its masterful dentists. Many North Americas make up to three trips over the period of a year to receive extended dental surgery, and still come out saving significant amounts of money. The dental equipment used in Thailand is on par with some of the best in the world, and the dentists are very well trained. Procedures available include crowns, dentures, laser teeth whitening and bridges.
The Thais have long been practicing alternative medicine and many practitioners using herbal medicines and holistic approaches are available. This sector is beginning to attract foreign attention, particularly the country’s wellness retreats, yoga workshops and chiropractic treatments.
The spa industry is big business in Thailand. Thais and foreigners alike take advantage of the many spas in the cities, where saunas, steam baths and every kind of massage are available for much less than the going rate in the west. Spas here are well suited to catering to international tourists and cost-saving packages are available at every establishment.