Healthcare In Thailand

Healthcare in Thailand is generally considered to be adequate. Below is some useful advice to visitors, along with information about health services currently available in Thailand.

Doctors, dentists and opticians are readily available in Thailand. In general doctors and staff in the larger hospitals speak good English and every major town in Thailand has its own public hospital but some are poorly equipped and overcrowded. There are however many private hospitals and these offer better services and easier communication.

Most doctors work from a Polyclinic which offers a full range of services with laboratory facilities and tests carried out with very quick results. These are usually open from 8.00 am to 9.00 pm.

During the daytime doctors are available in the hospitals to see and there may also be an emergency service.

The general police emergency number throughout Thailand is 191.

If you contact the police in a medical emergency, they will arrange an ambulance to your location, while public transport is also commonly used to transport patients to hospitals. All the hospitals have ambulances but these are mainly used to transfer patients and emergency numbers are only useful if you speak Thai. In the event of a car accident for example the ambulance will probably not be called but quite often a passing motorist will take the injured to hospital.

Hospital telephone numbers:

Chiang Mai Ram: 053-224-861
Lanna Hospital: 053-357-234
McCormack Hospital: 053-262-200

There are no compulsory vaccinations needed for Thailand but generally polio, typhoid, tetanus and Hepatitis A are recommended.

Most streets in Thailand have a pharmacy which sells a wide range of products which are both locally and internationally produced. All pharmacies close on the 25th of each month. Most drugs can be purchased from a pharmacy without a doctor's prescription.

In most towns water passes through a treatment plant but this is no guarantee of its purity but bottled water can be bought easily and inexpensively at most shops.

In most tourist centres like Bangkok , Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phuket malaria is not a problem, however it is wise to take precautions again insect bites. Windows are usually fitted with screens and insect spray can be used. If you intend to travel away from these areas it is recommended you seek medical advice before leaving your country of origin and the course may have to be started before leaving home.

Food stalls in the streets of Bangkok use oil that is reused over and over again which of course must be contaminated by car exhausts to cook food in. Most of the smaller restaurants and the street traders use cheap oils such as palm and coconut oil and these oils are not recommended if you have concerns about your cholesterol levels. Food contains much less meat than in most countries but fresh fish and poultry make the basis of Thai food.

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