Bangkok is known for so many different things: the beautiful temples, the great travel deals, incredible food, Buddhism, and brothels. Bangkok is also gaining a reputation as a place for foreigners to travel for elective surgeries. Bumrungrad Hospital claims they receive 350, 000 international patients a year. Medical tourists come to Bangkok for face-lifts, heart surgery, hip surgery, and other medical procedures for bargain prices. On average medical procedures here are about one sixth to one eighth the price as they are in the United States. The attention given to those who have received them have defined the procedures and the patient care as first class.
My first experience with Bangkok’s medical community was in December 2004, just three days before the tsunami, which devastated much of the surrounding region, when my son was born in Praram 9 Hospital on December 23. Praram 9 is a private hospital located in Southeast Bangkok. My wife had a cesarean section delivery. The first thing, besides the incredible care given to my wife and son, that grabbed my attention, was the price of the entire procedure from beginning to end. The entire cost for everything was about $1,200 (USD).
Unlike my daughter’s birth in Silverdale, Washington, where she was brought into the room to be cared for by my wife just hours after giving birth, my son was cared for in a nursery while my wife healed from the cesarean. This was a tremendous service in my wife’s recovery, and gave her time to heal. Overall, the entire experience was first class and reminded me of what medicine might have been like in the U.S. before the lawyers started running rabid.
Having seen first hand what medicine was like in Bangkok I decided to have an elective surgery on this last trip. I chose Praram 9 Hospital to have a vasectomy. The process was simple to set up. All I had to do was show up, talk to the physician and have a mandatory blood test for HIV/AIDS. The procedure was performed less than an hour after first walking into the hospital. Two and a half hours after walking in, I was walking out. The procedure was complete. The entire cost of the procedure, including the antibiotics and non-narcotic pain reliever, was 9,250 Baht. ($250.00 USD). Throughout the entire procedure I was treated with respect and dignity.
If ever I need any life-saving surgeries or medical procedures, which are not covered by insurance companies, I would not hesitate to have them done here in Bangkok again. Both of my experiences were fantastic and I’d recommend them to anyone.