Insurance and our hospitals


I am recovering from an operation at this present time and have spent two weeks in bed. For the past four months, I have suffered hemorrhoid issues and the pain got so out of control I needed surgery. We are lucky to have very good private hospitals but you need to understand that they are not cheap. Over the last four years, I have been placed in hospital four times and the costs were huge. I am insured so I have not borne the costs for any of the admittance. I have just paid my premiums and I have come out ahead at this stage.

Most of my friends are not insured. They pay out of pocket and hope nothing life-threatening comes along that will financially bankrupt them. Yes, you can go to a public hospital but you will find it most likely not to your liking and they are not that cheap as well. One of my friends had to spend two weeks in an open ward with six other Thais in his room and said it was a mess. He applied to get a private room in the public system but due to demand, it was impossible to get. All hospitals are not the same and some public are much better than the rest.

My dealings with the private system have been to say at the best, like staying in a 4-star hotel but the average day’s costs of room and medication being at 20,000 baht, it is not cheap. As much as I can say, having the safety net of insurance in my case has been of great advantage. Still, I do have people telling me I am crazy for buying insurance because to date, nothing has happened to them and they have not had to use the full forces of the hospital system here. Thinking you are indestructible and cannot die, is not a good way to think unless you have a load of money behind you to cover up to a million baht in a hospital stay. Still, not everyone can get coverage due to priors so I cannot speak for all.

So my views are clouded due to the good experiences I have had at private hospitals. All the staff could speak English, the surgeons involved in all cases have been good. They are lighter here on pain medications than in the West. Us Westerners are different from Thais related to pain medication may be due to size and the fact we are not as tough as an average Thai.

As for myself, I have not ridden a motorcycle for four months, have only been to Pai in the North for a four-day break two months ago as everything has been revolving around this hemorrhoid issue. I have several places to review and life in sleepy San Kamphaeng has just been that…. sleepy. My issues with Bipolar have been extreme at times and the costs of medicating myself here are not small. I am lucky I just have a good doctor that refills my scripts over the LINE app and if I need urgent attention, she will drive into the clinic for me or talk to me over LINE, face to face. Its treatment costs me but it is the treatment that I cannot get in the West, so I take the cause of costs and other things into consideration, to be of good value.

Till next time, take care.

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