The top destination for medical tourism in recent years is Thailand. Over a million patients travel to Thailand for treatment every year and the number continues to climb. This is in part due to a concerted effort by the government to improve the country’s ability to serve foreign patients with top-rated medical care combined with luxury spa destinations.
The country boasts over 200 public and private hospitals and clinics accredited by the Healthcare Accreditation Institute. It is believe to be the highest number of JCI-accredited facilities in all of Asia. Bangkok alone has more than 30 hospitals combined with access to some of the most exotic travel destinations in the world.
With medical costs estimated to be 50-70% less than in the United States, who wouldn’t want to get treatment in the “Spa Capital of Asia” rather than a crowded hospital at home?
Surgeries Available in Thailand
Thailand offers a wide-range of medical procedures and treatments. Originally best known as a destination for gender-reassignment surgery, physicians in Thailand regularly perform everything from heart surgery to dental procedures on patients from around the world.
Here are just a few of the treatments and surgeries performed daily in Thailand:
- Cardiovascular Treatment — heart transplant, angioplasty, artery bypass, balloon valvuloplasty, cardiac catherterization, artery stenting and other diagnostic and treatment procedures
- Cosmetic Surgery — breast reduction and augmentation, facelifts, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks, chin and lip augmentation, liposuction, eyelid surgery, ear pinning, hair transplants and Botox injections
- Dermatology — blemish removal, chemical peel, dermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing and other anti-aging procedures
- Dental — crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures, fillings, and laser teeth whitening
- General — cancer treatments, fertility treatments, Lasik eye surgery, cataract surgery, liver transplant, kidney transplant
- Orthopedic — knee replacement, hip replacement, rotator cuff surgery, elbow replacement, shoulder arthroscopy, hip resurfacing and ankle fusion
- Patients can also obtain weight-loss treatment, drug and alcohol rehab programs, and almost any procedure, surgery, or program available in the US.
Top Medical Tourism Thailand Destinations
Bangkok is clearly the top destination for any visitor to Thailand, including medical tourists. Bangkok has numerous English-speaking physicians, many of whom studied in the West. The hospitals there are outfitted with modern equipment and the clean, attractive facilities provide quality service to patients from all over the world.
The city itself offers an amazing number of attractions and activities for patients and their families. A mixture of ancient cultures and a modern world city, Bangkok has over 500 Buddhist temples including the stunning Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn). It is also home to the famous reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Other attractions include the Grand Palace and the National Museum. Bangkok is also famous for both traditional markets and modern shopping malls, making it a shopper’s paradise.
North of Bangkok is Chiang Mai, capital of Lanna. It is known for its historic walls and moats and over 300 temples as well as for its proximity to the stunning mountains of Northern Thailand. Medically speaking, it is a top destination for dentistry and holistic treatments as well as all major surgeries.
Closer to Bangkok is Pattaya, one of the country’s top travel destinations. This coastal city offers sunbathing, diving and windsurfing as top activities. It is also known for golf, motorsports, and bungee jumping. Families can enjoy world class theme parks, amazing museums and one of the biggest zoos in the world. Add in a thriving nightlife, shopping, and numerous music festivals and it becomes clear why Pattaya is one of the best places for families to travel.
Known as a holiday paradise, Phuket is also a top medical tourism destination. The island sports numerous world-class hospitals as well as gorgeous beaches and amazing scenery. Beautiful vegetation, magnificent cliffs and sparkling ocean waters provide a peaceful and inspiring vista for exploration and contemplation while recovery from surgery or other treatment.
Other top medical destinations in Thailand include Koh Samui and Hua Hin.