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Up close and personal with Thai healthcare

March 8, 2010
Pattaya, Thailand

I managed to pick up some nasty bug that has knocked me into next Tuesday… But while I feel completely miserable at the moment, this little bacterial bout has given me the opportunity to experience, first-hand, the joys of the Thai medical system.

First, doctors make house calls. When you’re as sick as I am, the last thing you want to do is get dressed, sit in the car, and go to the doctor’s office. Not a problem in Thailand… they come to you, all for about $30. And yes, they speak perfect English.

Second, if you’re a believer in medication, you can buy pretty much buy whatever you want over-the-counter– from antibiotics to codeine to Viagra. And everything costs a small fraction of what you would expect. You almost feel guilty, like you’re ripping off the pharmacy.

I paid 80 baht, roughly $2.50, for a 5-day batch of antibiotics, ibuprofen, and throat lozenges.

Third, if you so choose (and I do), you can have a team of nurses attending to your every need while you’re getting better. I’ve got a couple of ladies whose sole mission in life is to take care of whatever I need– changing the sheets, making a bowl of soup or tea, giving me a massage, or just sitting next to the bed with a wet washcloth over my forehead.

It’s funny what kind of misperceptions people have about medical care overseas. I’m frequently asked “What happens if you get sick overseas? Aren’t you concerned about the quality of medical care?”

Trust me, if/when I get sick, especially in an emergency, I truly hope that I’m in a place like Thailand or Panama instead of wasting away in waiting room back in the US, or paying through the nose for medicine.

Anyhow, I’m going to cut this short today for obvious reasons… depending on how I feel tomorrow I may or may not post something, so don’t be surprised in case you don’t hear from me.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Me

    All the best Simon. Hope you get back into shape in a hurry. Completely agree that you are in one of the best places on this ball of dirt to be going through any sickness.

  • Ilene Little

    Simon, I have received great reviews by corporate expats about health care in Thailand; details about Bumrungrad and Samitivej Hospitals.

    What hospital did you go to?

    What do you think about Pattaya as a retirement destination?

  • wayne Right

    Go see the Bumrungrad Hospital. You will see it is the best in the World! Like 5 Star Hotel and best doctors,quickest and friendliest service and almost free!!!!
    You should already know this is you travel so much !!!

    • Ilene Little

      I do know about Bumrungrad. However, Pattaya is a long way from Bangkok. What’s available in Pattaya?

  • Noel


    In alternative cancer care business, and about to open a new clinic in Cancun, Mexico. BUT, for your information, you can avoid any more bouts with travel illness, due to food or water based on bugs, bacteria, etc. by taking a pure form of the natural herb Berberine. Contact ActRx and they can get yo berberine alkloid, at 400-500 mg. You take one of these daily on the road and NO bug gets through.

    Do not confuse Goldenseal or such as they contain 1-2% berberine.

    Anyway, use it when you travel and Bye-Bye travel related attacks like you had. (Best version comes from China, that is why ActRx or the like.)


    • http://rauschenbach.us Möpsi

      Interesting about Goldenseal being 1-2% Berberine. I knew a modern “medicine man” in the woods of Indiana, who was the healthiest living man I have ever met. He said Goldenseal caplets did nearly nothing for him, so he & his wife started buying it in root form, and which would store for up to several years in the pantry, in a simple masonry jar. They would make a tea from shavings of the root, just like a sassafras tea (root beer). That way it is 100x stronger than the nearly useless store-bought caplet, and they would use it whenever traveling or going into someone’s house during flu season, to stay 100% healthy.

    • Ilene Little

      Noel, I’d like to hear more about your new clinic in Cancun. ilene@traveling4health.com

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