The alternative, paying for private healthcare, is notoriously expensive in the West. Even some commonplace procedures such as dentistry can cost an arm and a leg - let alone more invasive surgery. Others are frustrated by insurance companies that won't cover elective procedures such as IVF treatment. No wonder so many people look beyond their shores to find a more cost-effective option. For many, a trip to Thailand is the perfect solution; it's affordable, safe and hospitality is guaranteed.
For others, opting for medical tourism is less about conditions back home and more about being able to combine their treatment with a relaxing holiday in the Kingdom afterwards. After all, what better way can there be to recover from surgery than by treating yourself? With the money saved you could even splash out on a post-op vacation in Phuket or Ko Samui, or go sight-seeing, shopping or indulge in some replenishing spa and beauty treatments. You may even go back having spent less on your treatment, flights and holiday, than you would on the medical procedure alone back home.
The most common medical care which tourists come to Bangkok for is dentistry, cosmetic surgery and LASIK corrective eye surgery, although medical check-ups, major heart surgery, IVF treatment or even coming here to give birth are all becoming more popular. All private hospitals in Bangkok which offer medical consultation and treatment to patients from abroad boast state-of-the-art facilities and technology, internationally-trained doctors and multilingual staff. Many also offer special promotional packages to foreigners, while some (Bumrungrad, Samitivej and the Bangkok International Hospital) have even gone so far as to set up in-house visa extension facilities to help those who have to overstay their visas while undergoing medical treatment.
Yes, Bangkok's hospitals have taken the Kingdom's legendary customer service culture, and re-packaged it with its expert healthcare facilities, making for an irresistible offer for those looking for medical treatment.