Welcome to Bangkok, capital of a global trend: medical tourism. Throughout the West, patients are frustrated. Care is too expensive in the United States and expectations are too long in Europe and Canada. Asia, much cheaper and just as technically advanced now takes over 10 years. Thailand Medical Tourism is a huge business that grew at the rate of arrival of the baby boomers in the third age. In recent years, the Thai medical tourism increases by 20 % per year according to the Thailand Tourism Authority. Growth will not end with the end of the baby boomers. In 2006, more than 1.5 million foreign patients are treated in Thailand facts, including some 30,000 Canadians.
System speed: Fast
In Thailand, the health system for foreigners have all the same speed: fast. This is an entirely private system based on the effectiveness and satisfaction of clients / patients. The two main competitors in the Thai health system for the title of Medical Hub of Asia are Singapore – more expensive – and India – less reassuring.
In Bangkok, there is no waiting for any medical examination and rarely more than two weeks of waiting for an operation or a major medical intervention. Need a knee or hip? A few thousand dollars and now it’s done. The operation will be performed in the best conditions by doctors trained for most in the United States. All procedures will be recorded on a compact disc which serves as a reference to Canadian physicians. Yes, there are services in French, although English is the language appears normal use.
Anti- skeptical 50 years
Skeptical? I met in Thailand, by chance, an American of 50 years, Tom Radigan, who survived a heart attack last year in Chiang Mai, the second largest city and a major tourist center: “I was extremely impressed by treatment. In return, I brought the CD of medical procedures to the great cardiac in Cleveland Clinic (Ohio). The specialists there told me that everything was done according to the rules of art. ”
Tom Radigan however, has not been impressed by the ambulance service. “The ambulance was old “said he said.
Thailand is therefore not a paradise of health. Furthermore beside of old ambulance, there is a problem with trafficked drugs and overcrowded hospitals. By cons, patients from abroad see nothing of it. They go to the most reputable private hospitals, such as Bangkok Hospital or Bumrungrad International hospital that only wealthy Thais can afford, but that are very affordable for Westerners.
The most chic of chic hospitals
In the lobby of the Bangkok Hospital, the most chic hospitals, films are shown on large plasma screens and small massage. Cute nurse (be nice is a hiring criteria, and have completed four years of post -secondary education in nursing is a pre-requisite) wander gracefully smile.
The Bangkok Hospital has a nurse for four patients who get so much attention. I spent an annual medical examination at the hospital (for $ 75). The wait was less than 15 minutes and I got some results in less than an hour. The staffs were both friendly and professional. The clean and modern environment, and high technology, inspired confidence.
Nevertheless, it is the huge Bumrungrad International hospital in Bangkok has the map of major international medical centers. Besides hospital advanced techniques, the Bumrungrad International is much media marketing. The Bumrungrad International brand will soon have 15 major affiliated hospitals in Asia, in countries with situations as diverse as the United Arab Emirates and Cambodia.
Everywhere, the recipe remains the same : prioritization of specialized medicine , technology, accreditation from international agencies (such as the International Joint Commission on Accreditation ) , the American management by individuals handpicked and often trained in United States, consolidating all services under one roof , the availability of related services and personalized attention to patients.Bumrungrad International is a model of profitable business venture . Several multinationals want to associate its brand …
Medical tourism is also made for recovery periods after medical interventions. ” Medical tourists often stay longer in Thailand and do other forms of tourism, it also allows them to appreciate and understand the Thai way of life based on Buddhism , and so on meditation and deepening of thought
Thailand treats Westerners Western in major hospitals , and in this country as lavish traditional Thai treatments ( very close to the Chinese medicine) , not to mention the famous Thai massage therapies ( many Westerners attend classes of traditional massage school at watpo temple).
There are also medical spas ( the best known is the St. Carlos Medical Centre ), which is another medico- cultural fusion – doctors trained in Western and Eastern jointly establish alternative care , especially for desperate patients and people who have tried everything without success.
Author bio: Pham quynh is working for Minh Anh Travel, local agency in Vietnam and write about travel and Holiday in Asian Countries as Vietnam, Thailand, China and Cambodia.