The Health Care system in Thailand
Most of the doctors in Thailand are specialists; that is why it may be hard to find a reliable all-round general practitioner to treat you for minor medical problems in Pattaya. As an expatriate, you will have to go to a general hospital, where you will most likely be examined by a doctor who is a specialist in one field or another. Since it may be common to have a number of smaller medical conditions, it may be difficult for a medical specialist to deal with these. The best way, especially if you are not quite sure of your problem(s), is simply to seek an internist as your first port of call. However, it should be noted that there are still some major hospitals in Thailand that have family doctors or medical practitioners who contribute to the health care system in Thailand in a big way.
The Health Care system in Thailand may be quite different to what patients and doctors are used too back home. Most doctors in Thailand do not have one specific place of work. Thai surgeons and physicians have different working schedules at different hospitals that can be spread all over the province. Because of this, doctors are likely to go from one hospital to another to do their rounds. Additionally, these doctors may also have private clinics. In light of this, they tend to work very long hours. It is not difficult to imagine the problems that this could cause. For example, if you just had surgery and a problem arises, there is the possibility that your surgeon might be performing another surgery in a different hospital, or he may be at his private clinic. This may result in your doctor trying to solve the situation over the phone.
Emergency transport facilities in Thailand are not yet fully developed, im not suggesting the health care system in Thailand fails to bring patients into hospitals quick enough, but due to the over populated street traffic it makes the job of Ambulances much more difficult but large hospitals in Thailand, do have mobile intensive care units where you can be have immediate treatment in emergency situations. However, you will rarely see an ambulance racing the streets of Pattaya. Although traffic accidents are attended to, volunteer organizations are normally the ones to provide rescue units. Passersby will also assist in emergencies.
In terms of emergency transport, the main obstacle in medical emergencies is the traffic in Pattaya. Unwanted delays are unavoidable, unless you are in close proximity to a hospital. Generally speaking, cars do not automatically give way to responding ambulances. Therefore, if you have a medical condition that may need immediate attention, where possible, stay in a place which is near to a suitable hospital.
Having a Health Care system in Thailand that is able to treat controlled and stable conditions is one thing, but being capable of dealing with emergency procedures is another. Unfortunately, Thailand needs some major improvements in this regard.
When you are in Thailand, it is important to have your medical insurance documents with you; either that or another form of payment. In the case of a hospital admission, you will be required to pay up front for the treatments. It appears that money plays an even larger part than normal when discussing the healthcare system of Thailand.
In most western nations, problems like these are normally avoided because the patients have mandatory medical insurance and hospitals can be confident about getting paid. It is recommended that you avail of private health insurance when considering Thailand as a place to visit or live.
Hospitals in Pattaya
Tel: 038-411 511-2
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital
Address: Sukhumvit Road, North Pattaya.
Tel: 038-259 911, 259 999 (emergency),
Pattaya City Hospital
Address: Soi Boakoaw
Tel: 038-420823 or 038-420562
Address: Pattaya Klang, near Pattaya Second Road
Tel: 038-429 422/4
Pattaya International Hospital
Address: Pattaya Soi 4
Tel: 038-428 374/5, 427 575 (emergency)
Queen Sirikit Hospital
Tel: 038-245 926