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Monday, May 16, 2011

Medical Tourism in Thailand

Thailand is a well-known global tourist destination, as people from all around the world come in to this beautiful country with countless options and tourist destinations to choose from. Tourists can come relax on Thailand's legendary beaches and islands, tour the amazing capital of Bangkok or go sightseeing in Thailand's nature side. Tourists come in to the country to spend a few magical weeks, and head home full of stories to tell.

However, it may surprise you to know that there is another main attraction and reason to come and visit Thailand. It is called "Medical Tourism" and many tourists fly in to Thailand for the main purpose of undergoing medical treatments in Thai hospitals.  In fact, our own editor is departing to Bangkok today in order to have some otherwise expensive tests run. 

In recent years Thailand has become a very popular medical tourism destination, as countless medical centers around the country are constantly investing funds in keeping the medical system modern and keeping up with the latest medical technology up to par with American hospitals. No less than 15 different medical centers have even been awarded the prestigious Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation, stating that they are up to par with the American healthcare system hospitals.

Medical Tourism
Before we take a closer look at the Thai medical tourism industry, let's take a general look and answer the question "What is medical tourism"? Medical tourism describes a phenomenon in which patients travel across national borders to receive medical care of any kind. As this may seem that this is a new industry that has recently developed, this is not the case as patients have been traveling from their home countries to undergo different health treatments for centuries.

The latest blossoming of the industry came thanks to two major factors: the internet which is constantly bringing all of us closer together and to the massive improvements in the global transportation means as no place is too far anymore.

These two factors have suddenly made medical tourism a logical option for people who are in need. This can be because of improper medical insurance (or not having any at all) which then leads to patients not being able to afford surgery in their home country, long waiting lists which force people to wait months and even years for surgery or patients who have the means and would rather travel to a country with a better and more advanced medical technology and research in the field they need surgery in.

Combine this with the fact the medical centers in Thailand practice the most advanced medicine and there is no surprise Thailand has become a popular choice for medical tourism around the world.

Medical Tourism in Thailand
Hospitals in Thailand realized the potential of the industry and developed their medical institutions into state-of-the-art medical centers, up to par with the best hospitals in the world. In addition, Thailand is one of the leading countries in the world in medical institutions that are JCI accredited, assuring the highest medicine standards.

Thailand is no stranger to Medical tourism. Already 1.5 million medical tourists have visited Thailand by 2008 and the number of inbound tourist is growing annually and is expected to keep growing. Bangkok is the main hub for medical tourism in Thailand as it receives hundreds of thousands of patients every year.

When visiting these hospitals, patients have the option of being hospitalized in first class accommodations, as the hospitals and clinics offer private suites for the patients and friends or family accompanying them.

Finally, after one finishes with the medical procedure, they can enjoy a vacation in the country or visit countries around Thailand as they are in the heart of Asia.

Medical Tourism Services in Thailand
Medical tourists are free to visit Thailand for any medical procedure available. However, there are some medical treatments that are more popular when it comes to health travelers. Open heart surgery (heart bypass and valve replacements) and orthopedic joint replacement surgery (mainly knee and hip) are very popular in Thailand. These are necessary and expensive surgeries in western countries, leading medical tourist to search for them elsewhere. Both are available in very high standards in Thailand.

Another type of popular medical treatment travelers undergo in Thailand is cosmetic surgery. As the recovery for procedures of this kind is not as tough and long as other procedures, patients choose to travel and undergo just about any type of plastic surgery, starting from breast augmentation and enlargements to complete facelifts and tummy tucks.

In addition to all treatments mentioned, medical tourists can undergo surgery in any other medical field they choose, including gastroenterology, ophthalmology, organ transplants, urology, neurology, neurosurgery, oncology, rheumatology, endocrinology, pediatrics, dermatology, dentistry, gynecology, psychiatry, General Medicine & General Surgery.

There are many private hospitals in Thailand. "The Bangkok General Hospital and Bumrungrad hospitals" are just two excellent examples of private hospitals excepting thousands of patients each day providing the highest and the best medical care in Asia.  

If you are searching for medical treatment abroad, be sure to check Thai hospitals in your medical tourism query. Good luck.

This Article has been written by Stuart Ben, A professional medical tourism facilitator. You can read more about medical tourism in Thailand here: Hospitals in Thailand : TicketMed


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