FYI: Cost for 5 days of health care in Thailand
I just had the first non-trivial out-of-pocket health care bills of my 2.5 years of retirement. In some sort of poetic [in]justice, I fell ill while reviewing insurance plan info I'd requested from several sources.
The good news is that quality care is inexpensive compared to my home country, the US of A. But I also chose a provider (the generic sounding 'Bangkok Hospital Group' or BHG) that has a reputation for both high quality care and high prices. The two facilities I used are in towns that are at or near the top of the list of the country's highest cost of living for the Farang (foreigner) lifestyle.
I always had good health insurance while living in the states, so I have no idea what any of this costs there. I'm sure it's sufficiently higher so as to explain much of the medical tourism of US citizens to Thailand.
Each of the 'Day #' headings shows total cost for the day(s) in question. Following lines break down that cost into major areas. Exchange rate used is 30 Baht per US $
Total Cost - 114,454 Baht ($3,815)
Day 1. Outpatient: 2,385 B ($80)
Office visit including new patient history, 2 physial exams, 1 procedure by Doc, 1 by nurse, abdominal x-ray series of 3 shots, meds.
Diagnosis: obstructed bowel.
Day 2. Outpatient: 25,479 B ($849)
Return to same Doc because of substantial increase in pain.
Abdominal cat scan with barium trace - 10,000 B ($333)
Physician evaluation - 800 B ($27)
Seven blood tests - 2,106 B ($70)
Misc Medical Supplies - 1,610 B ($54)
Meds - 1,323 B ($44)
Diagnosis: Needed additional test(s) to pick among several possible.
The BHG hospital in my town, Hua Hin, is not equipped for those tests as it opened on Jan 1 of this year and is slowly expanding services offered. I was transfered to the main BHG hospital in Bangkok.
Ambulance transport (3 hr ride) with nurse - 9,640 B ($321)
Hospital Pre-Admission Deposit - 100,000 B ($3,333)
Thailand has public hospitals for those who can't pay and private hospitals for those who can. There are two ways to be admitted to the BHG's mothership hospital. The first is to have your insurance verified. The second is to hand over 100k B in cash or against a credit/debit card. I wondered how much of the 100k I'd get back, but didn't care much because of the morphine. I expect the amount of up-front money varies with the patient's condition.
Day 3 - 5. In-Patient: 86,590 B ($2,886)
Drugs - 13,787 B ($460)
Medical supplies and equipment - 4,062 B ($135)
Gastro Endoscopy and labs - 20,216 B ($674)
Abdominal X-Ray series - 2,860 B ($95)
Nursing - 5,000 B ($167)
Doctors - 17,950 B ($598)
Private Room, Standard type for 3 nights - 10,815 B ($361)
Includes basic nursing, housekeeping services and food. Besides the usual medical bed and equipment, the room has a microwave, 4' tall refrigerator, hot water pot, 2 sets of plate/bowl/glass/cup/flatware, flat screen TV, dvd player, table with 2 chairs, writing table and stool, recliner chair and sofa. The latter two are useful for the friend or family members who want to stay with you 24/7. There are three more expensive room types.
'Packaged Medical Charge' - 11,900 B ($397)
Diagnosis: Gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastrc ulcers, but both caught at very early stages.