We welcome this guest post by Deepika Garg – Dentist, and an internet enthusiast, who has been involved with online content creation and management for over 5 years. Of late, she has been involved in promoting medial tourism.
According to a 2011 report published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the number of offshore patients receiving medical treatments in Thailand has been rising at the rate of 16% annually. This has largely to do with the fact that Thailand is home to many state-of-the-art hospitals and some of them are counted among the best in the world.
These hospitals provide quality and low cost medical treatments which also happen to be the two growth drivers of medical tourism in Thailand. The active involvement of the Thai government in promoting medical tourism has also helped propel the country as a prime value-for-money medical tourism destination.
As per a 2008 Deloitte report, the average cost of medical treatments in Thailand is about 30% the cost of like-procedures in the US. Many people travel to Thailand for cosmetic surgeries in particular. Getting breast implants, tummy tucks and nose jobs in Thailand are quite popular with the medical tourists.
There are numerous upsides of traveling to Thailand for medical treatments, some of which have already been outlined in the write-up. Before you embark on a medical trip to Thailand here are some of the pointers that should come in handy.
Researching Medical Facilities in Thailand
Be it knee replacement, breast augmentation or genital cosmetic surgery such as laser vaginal rejuvenation in Thailand, it is important that you gather as much information as you can about the clinic or hospital where you intend to get treated.
Find an accredited hospital. Joint Commission International (JCI) is a trusted international accreditation body.
See if the hospital has been involved in any substantial lawsuits.
Research the hospital’s track record through online forums and news articles. The comments and testimonials of past patients can be very helpful in appraising a hospital.
The hospital should provide you all the information about the educational credentials of its doctors and other staff members. You can call the educational institutes to verify their veracity.
Travel Tips for Thailand
Below are some travel tips for first-time visitors to Thailand.
Weather – Thailand is a tropical country. This makes it a great destination for a relaxing vacation. However, you should be ready for the heat. May is the hottest month of the year. Also keep in mind that the period from June through September marks the monsoon season. So, be ready to bear heavy rains during that time of the year. The period from October to March is the best time to visit Thailand.
Travel Time - Including layovers, it takes around 24 hours to get from the US to Thailand by air. There are some direct flights from New York City to Bangkok.
Minimarts – One great thing about Thailand is that minimarts are ubiquitous all over the country. If Thai food is not your cup of tea, it is easy to find prepackaged foods and drinks here. You will also find basic toiletries and stationery at minimarts.
Public transportation – Thailand has excellent public transportation, even in the smaller cities. This includes, but is not limited to: Taxis, buses, motorcycle taxis, ferries and boats, underground train/subway, Skytrain (in Bangkok).
Safety Tips – Tap water in Thailand is NOT potable. Buy bottled water. Also, pay attention to minor injuries and keep them covered. Thailand’s muggy climate is quite conducive to infections.
What Should I Know About the Thai Culture?
It is no surprise that Thai people are very warm and inviting individuals considering the country is dubbed as the Land of Smiles. Here are some tips to help you assimilate.
Wai – Thais greet people by pressing their palms together in a prayer formation and bowing the head slightly. This is considered a respectful way to greet someone and is known as a “Wai.”
Thai Food – Thai cuisine typically consists of rice and a spicy meat or vegetable dish. Thais are big fans of pork, beef and seafood. It can sometimes be difficult for a vegetarian, but restaurants usually offer some vegetarian options upon request.
The Head is sacred, feet are not – The Thai people believe that the head is sacred and the feet are dirty. Remember these few pointers:
- It is considered offensive to touch someone on the head.
- It is also offensive to lift things above the head.
- You will need to remove your shoes before entering houses and some offices.
- Never point at something with your feet.
- Do not touch anyone with your feet or rest your feet on any table or chair.
Thailand’s popularity as a medical tourism destination is projected to increase exponentially over the next few years. Keeping in mind these handy tips can aid in a hassle-free medical trip to Thailand.