Thailand may be a country with heavenly air, but it’s not free of diseases! In this article we’ll share what precautions to take before your departure and the good habits to have if you get sick in the Land of Smiles.
Before You Leave: Get Vaccinated and Health Insurance!
The necessary vaccines are: hepatitis A and B, DTCP (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, and polio) as well as typhoid. However, if your stay is in more rural areas, we advise you to get vaccinated against rabies (note that this vaccine requires 3 injections spaced over a month), and dengue fever..
As far as insurance is concerned, your Visa or Mastercard credit card offers you € 10,000 worth of coverage. Also, at the time of the ticket purchase your airlines will usually offer repatriation insurance and coverage of medical expenses up to 10 000 € for 14 € per passenger. Such coverage will be perfect for the treatment of so-called “classical” diseases (gastroenteritis or influenza).
In Thailand: What to do in case of illness?
Unlike France, if you get sick, the consultation of a doctor will take you to a hospital, but there are several choices available to you.
Public hospitals are very accessible: 270 baht (€ 7) for a consultation, blood test, and medication. Although there is the reputation of needing to wait a long time before receiving care, you will not wait more than an hour on average. The public hospital is therefore recommended for “classic” illnesses. Similarly, you can easily find Boots pharmacies (with a blue sign) with qualified staff, able to give you the appropriate drugs if you have known symptoms, and it will be even cheaper.
Private hospitals have the advantage of being outfitted with better equipment and more qualified specialists than public hospitals like the hospital chain Bangkok Hospital, present in all major cities of Thailand (Bangkok, Phuket , Chiang Mai). All things being equal, the price of a consultation with blood test and drugs in a private hospital is on average 3000 baht (75 €). Given the price difference with the public hospital, we advise you to go there only in case of “rare” diseases where you have no idea what you have.
Finally, don’t forget to mention that your insurance does not have full coverage on drugs – only get what you really need. Hospitals are commissioned on the drugs they sell, so you can end up with 3 weeks of antibiotics to pay for a simple flu.