Medical tourism is the travel of people to a particular destination, mostly in a foreign country, to receive medical treatments due to several reasons, for example, there is no such treatment available in their home country or the cost of the treatment is too expansive. The common treatments for medical tourists include cosmetic surgery, dentistry, cardiac surgery, orthopedic surgery or even traditional medicine. In Asia, many countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, India etc. are among the common destinations for patients around the world. Normally, the travel may include holidays during the rehabilitation periods.
2. Why should I choose Thailand as my destination?
Nowadays, the growth of medical tourism has been increased in the worldwide. More and more countries pay a great attention to the business and try their best to make strong points stand out, for example, the medical staff development, the investment in new technology for medical treatments. Thailand is one of the most famous destinations for health care services. What make Thailand stand out from other countries are specialized treatment services, for example, Sex Reassignment Surgery, Breast Augmentation, as well as experienced doctors and assisting staffs. The health care organizations are equipped with up-to-date medical equipment and complete facilities. Thailand offers several medical services, including Health, Wellness, Beauty & Spa, with a good care that emphasizes a warm characteristic of Thai people. The government also supports the medical tourism in Thailand. Recently, visa exemption has been granted for nationals of 6 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries if travel by medical purpose. The price is considerably cheaper comparing to that of other countries. Also, there are many beautiful and interesting tourist attractions throughout Thailand where you can visit during or after the rehabilitation.
3. What should I know about Thailand?
Thailand is one of the ten countries located in Southeast Asia with the population around 67 million people. The capital city is Bangkok and the official language is Thai. Although English is not an official language, there should be no problem for medical tourists as good English can be expected from doctors and staffs and some hospitals provide interpreters for you. The average temperature can range from 19-38 °C but it can go beyond 40 °C in mid-April so tourists must prepare themselves for the hot weather and choose appropriate clothing. Normally, shorts, sleeveless t-shirts, and sandals are fine but in some places, such as The Grand Palace, you need to dress properly to enter the location so you should take it into consideration. Thailand is divided into 6 regions, each of which holds different geography, local tradition and culture, which you can choose to enjoy and explore.
4. Do I need to apply visa to enter Thailand?
It depends on the purpose of your visit and the country where you are from. For travel purpose, citizens of some countries may apply Visa on Arrival while some may get Visa Exemption. The period of stay varies according to country. Here are summary of countries and territories entitled for Visa Exemption and Visa on Arrival to Thailand, issued by Department of Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please see the attached file. For those who come from the country that is not mentioned in the list need to apply for Tourist Visa.
However, for medical purpose, apart from citizens from GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and The United Arab Emirates, you need to apply for Non-immigrant visa to receive medical treatment.
5. How can I apply Non-immigrant visa to receive medical treatment?
Visa applicants need to submit the following relevant documents:
- Visa application form completely filled out
- Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months. The validity of 18 months is required for one year visa application.
- (4 x 6 cm) photograph of the applicant, taken within the past six months
- Evidence of adequate finance ( 20,000 Baht per person and 40,000 Baht per family )
- Birth Certificate
- Certifcate of Marriage or its equivalents
- Proof to show that you are receiving treatment from a licensed medical facility
The documents must be translated into Thai or English. The visa fee is 2,000 Baht for single entry and 5,000 Baht for multiple entries. You can stay in Thailand for 90 days. See more details about Thailand Visa Information at http://www.mfa.go.th/main/en/services/4908
6. What is JCI? How many JCI Accredited organizations are there in Thailand?
JCI or Joint Commission International is a non-profit organization founded in 1994 to address all dimensions of accreditation, quality care, and patient safety. It is considered the gold standard in international health care. It works with health care organizations from more than 100 countries around the world. According to Joint Commission International, there are 44 JCI Accredited organizations in Thailand as shown in the following list.
1. Aek Udon International Hospital
2. Bangkok Hospital Hua Hin
3. Bangkok Hospital Medical Center
4. Bangkok Hospital Pattaya
5. Bangkok Hospital Phuket
6. Bangkok Hospital Samui
7. Bangkok International Dental Center
8. Bangpakok 9 International Hospital
9. BNH Hospital
10. Bumrungrad International
11. Central General Hospital
12. Chaophya Hospital Public Company Limited
13. Chiangmai Ram Hospital
14. Chularat 3 Theparak Hospital
15. International Clinic Koh Chang
16. Khonkaen Ram Hospital
17. Kluaynamthai Home Care
18. Kluaynamthai Polyclinic Branch Asoke
19. Kluaynamthai2 Chronic Patient Sanatorium
20. Mahachai Hospital Public Company Limited
21. Metta International Eye Center
22. Navamin 9 Hospital
23. Nonthavej Hospital
24. Phuket International Hospital
25. Phyathai 2 Hospital
26. Pitsanuvej Hospital
27. Praram 9 Hospital
28. Rachvipa MRI Center
29. Ramkhamhaeng Hospital
30. Saimai Hospital
31. Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
32. Samitivej Sriracha Hospital
33. Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital
34. Sea Smile Dental Clinic
35. Sikarin Hatyai Hospital
36. Sikarin Hospital
37. Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital
38. Srisawan Hospital
39. Sukumvit Hospital
40. Synphaet Hospital
41. The World Medical Center
42. Vejthani Hospital
43. Vibhavadi Hospital
44. Yanhee Hospital
7. How can I travel in Bangkok?
There are many travel methods in Bangkok. However, for those who haven’t rented a private car or do not want to go by a taxi for cost saving, public transportations such as BTS, MRT or even boats are recommended. You can go to the heart of Bangkok without wasting your time in a traffic jam. You can go shopping at famous department stores, such as Siam Paragon, MBK, EmQuartier, Emporium etc. are accessible via BTS sky train. You can also go to some JCI Accredited hospitals by BTS. It is also connected to MRT and the pier in Chao Phraya River where you can take a boat to luxurious hotels and famous tourist attractions of Bangkok; The Grand Palace, The Temple of Dawn, Asiatique. Here is the map showing the current route of the mentioned transportations.
With health and wellness trend on the rise, and with an ever increasing number of international visitors traveling to Thailand on health tourism packages, Tourism Authority of Thailand is dedicated to improving the quality of information, on the internet, with regards to health tourism. Tourism Authority of Thailand are ensuring foreign visitors traveling to Thailand for healthcare services, and all other types of treatments, receive accurate, regularly updated information and advice on travel, healthcare holidays at health spa, holistic centers and specialist clinics.
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