When opting to go abroad for surgery or any sort of medical procedure you will want to be sure you will receive the best possible medical care. While health care services are significantly cheaper than in the West, a common concern raised by many is whether they are as safe. And rightly so.
First of all, you will be glad to know that Thailand's track record in the medical realm is unsurpassed in the region and has won much acclaim, particularly in areas of expertise such as cardiac surgery, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, dentistry, bone-related ailments, cataracts or tropical and infectious diseases. Successive governments have invested heavily in ensuring that the training and education doctors receive here is equal to or surpasses that offered elsewhere in the region. Many have also been abroad to complete specialist training, particularly to the USA and Europe, and are at least equally well-qualified as their peers in the West.
Of course, expertise is nothing without facilities and equipment to match, and in Bangkok these are also second-to-none. All the private hospitals, many of which have listed on Thailand's stock exchange to attract investment, have plowed huge sums into up-to-the-minute equipment, and the standards maintained are exemplary. Thailand, in fact, was the first Asian country to have an internationally accredited hospital.
Once you have decided that coming to Bangkok for treatment could be suitable for you, its imperative that you do research both about the medical procedure you're looking to have done, and about the hospital or clinic you are considering using. Holiday surgery potentially comes with additional risks, and as yet there is no authoritative information out there regarding the quality of treatments, good or bad, in private hospitals in Thailand or elsewhere (most hospitals are members of the respected Private Hospitals Association, have ISO safety certification and the Thai Ministry of Health is introducing its own quality standards, regulation and legislation to build consumer confidence). The Internet is a good place to start for research, although, of course not authoritative.
Before going under the knife, the best plan of action is to consult your doctor at home to talk through the pros and cons of coming here for treatment, and then, once your initial fears have been allayed, go direct to the hospital or clinic with your more detailed questions and concerns. All have staff with foreign language skills who will be able to assist you. Its important to remember that there are inherent risks with any kind of medical treatment or surgery, and therefore please consider all possible cons seriously (such as a possible lack of post-operative support and your rights in the unlikely event of malpractice) before going ahead.
Now find out why you should choose Bangkok for treament, or read about Thailand's drive to become Asia's health tourism hub.