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Thursday, 23 February 2017

TIT - Top Tips for dealing with Doctors and Hospitals in Thailand

Just a quick post today as I was musing over what I thought made the most successful Doctor visits in Bangkok

1. Ask questions. Whilst it may not be the culture here to ask too many questions for fear of someone losing face - this is your (or your families) health - if you don't ask you cannot blame anyone else in Thailand for not knowing everything you should know

2. If you are female and are seeing a male doctor, in my experience, it is better to go alone (i.e. without your partner). Male Thai doctors have a tendency to talk to the male partner, making you feel irrelevant

3. Use the complaints procedures. Despite paying some hefty private medical bills for so called private appointments you will still find yourself waiting around in hospitals here (for hours sometimes). If you are like us and think that punctuality is important then complain. Don't shout at the nurses or doctors, but using the proper channels will normally yield a little note on your file and you will miraculously find yourself at the front of the queue every visit.

4. Ask questions. I know I have said this before, but its sooooooo important. 
  • Why do I need this procedure/medication etc? 
  • What are the side effects? 
  • Is there an alternative?
  • What is the cost?
  • What is the brand name, expiration date and dosage? (if given medication or injections)
  • What do my vital statistics tell you? (after all they take them every time you visit, but hardly ever mention the results)

 5. Be Smiley 😃 It's the key communication tool here. Even if you are not feeling at all smiley, try to grin through it. It will yield much better responses from hospital staff no matter how grave the situation is.


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