Hospitals in Thailand have played a pioneering role in facilitating South East Asia’s rise as the world’s most popular medical tourism destination region.
Thailand is one of the most popular medical tourism destination countries and is often the first place that comes to mind when Westerners think about medical tourism. Thailand’s healthcare industry is truly in a sweet spot, as it offers costs that trump South Korea and Singapore, yet it can compete based on quality with hospitals in Malaysia and India.
Even though some procedures in Thailand are slightly more expensive than in Sri Lanka and India in some cases, hospitals in Thailand still offer substantial savings for Americans that would like to save money on healthcare. Moreover, doctors in Thailand are highly qualified and have experience studying and practicing abroad in advanced nations like the United States, Japan and the U.K.
Thailand also has more than 65 JCI accredited hospitals. In this blog post, we will highlight some of the offerings of various hospitals in Thailand and showcase some of the special attributes of Thailand’ healthcare industry. Finally, we will draw comparisons to hospitals in other countries such as India, Taiwan and Malaysia to allow our readers to make an informed decision about which hospitals in Asia best suit their medical needs.
Several hospitals in Thailand have world class facilities
Hospitals in Thailand offer something to every class of medical traveler
Hospitals in Thailand appeal to medical travelers from various parts of the world.
Though it is hard to know the exact numbers, Thailand attracts roughly 40% of global medical tourists and around 80% of all medical tourists end up either choosing India, Singapore or Thailand. When it comes to costs, Thailand can easily compete with Singapore, though offerings for various joint replacement surgeries and a heart bypass surgery is much cheaper in hospitals in India. However, certain American patients that are less price sensitive may prefer hospitals in Thailand as they can still offer circa 50-80% savings in many cases.
Medical tourists from Europe and America are naturally drawn to Thailand as it is perceived as a comfortable option that can allow them to cut their medical bill in more than half. Moreover, some patients from Canada are even drawn to Thailand simply because of the waiting time for some procedures.
One of the appeals of Thailand includes the fact that it is a very well known tourist destination, which receives more than 3 times as many tourists as India, thereby ensuring that the supporting ecosystem and infrastructure meet the needs of Western medical travelers.
Thailand offers superior quality compared to what is available in the Middle East. Many people from the Middle East prefer traveling to Thailand over popular regional options such as Jordan, which only receives around 400,000 medical tourists every year compared to 2 million in Thailand.
Thai hospitals also offer a far superior quality of healthcare to what is available in neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Laos, allowing it to attract medical travelers from within less developed countries in the South East Asia region.
What are the top surgeries for Americans to consider at hospitals in Thailand
People from America/Japan/Europe can save around 40-60% on surgeries in Thailand according to Patients Beyond Borders. This can especially be useful for American that would like to save money on surgeries such as heart bypass, knee replacement and hip replacement surgeries.
Thailand is known for performing a wide variety of procedures including transgender procedures, cosmetic surgery, orthopedics, cardiology, IVF and spinal surgery. Thailand is also a favorable destination for medical tourists that want to save money on general health check ups and dental work, although it is more relevant for patients from developed countries in the Asia Pacific region such as New Zealand and Australia rather than the United States.
Furthermore, Americans can also find Thailand to be an attractive destination for various types of cosmetic surgery, as doctors in Thailand have extensive experience in this area.
Source: Medisetter ( US$)
However, American medical travelers to Thailand can end up saving the most on complex surgeries such as heart bypass, knee replacement and hip replacement surgeries. Americans without insurance could have to pay between $50,000-100,000 for all of these procedures, which can all be performed for less than $20,000 at various JCI accredited hospitals in Thailand. Certain surgeries, such as a hernia for example, are better performed in the United States, as Thailand does not offer significant cost savings. Furthermore, we encourage patients in America to also consider options in Malaysia and India and to compare them to offerings in Thailand in order to find the most suitable option (see our online medical booking portal). India, for example, is very well known for its ability to perform a heart bypass surgery at a much lower cost and very high success rates.
The heart bypass surgery is one of the most expensive surgeries for Americans and costs around $75,000. Moreover, the costs associated with hospitalizations can run over $38,000, which consequently makes the United States one of the most expensive destinations in the world for this surgery, topping other developed countries such as Australia and New Zealand. One of our partner hospitals in Thailand is able to perform this surgery for between THB540,000-600,000, which is less than $20,000. This means that uninsured Americans can expect to save circa 70%, even after including the cost of a flight to Thailand and post-discharge accommodation. That being said, hospitals in India can offer even more savings to Americans and Malaysia and Taiwan are also two interesting countries to investigate.
Thailand is also an attractive option for Americans to save money on a knee replacement surgery, which is a very common surgery in the United States. A knee replacement surgery can cost over $50,000 in the United States for those without insurance and the price varies depending on the hospital. One of the hospitals featured in our online medical booking portal is able to perform this surgery for less than $12,000, which can allow Americans to save circa 70%, including the cost of a flight and hotels.
Thailand is also a very attractive for Americans who want to save money on a hip replacement surgery, which costs around $40,000 in the United States, depending on the hospital. One of our JCI accredited partners in Thailand is able to perform this surgery for around $16,000, which only offers Americans around 50-55% savings including the costs of airfare and a hotel booking. One country option that could potentially be a better bet if you are on a tight budget is India, as the average cost of a hip replacement surgery in the country is only around $6,000.
One less common surgery that Americans should consider having abroad if they are uninsured includes an ACL reconstruction surgery. ACL reconstruction can cost between $20,000-50,000 in the United States and around 100,000 of these surgeries are performed every year. This surgery can be performed for around $10,000 in Thailand, which means that Americans are still able to save more than 50% by having this surgery performed in Thailand. Check with your hospital first as this range is quite wide and it may not be worth it for you if you only end up saving $5,000 or more after traveling to Thailand.
Check our online medical booking portal to see the exact prices for hospitals in Thailand and we can put you in touch with doctors in Thailand that may be able to assist you. Furthermore, we would also be happy to assist you with comparing options in other countries such as India, Malaysia or Taiwan to see which option is best for your specific situation.