Hospital Visits

I’ve been sick recently and had to visit a hospital here, Deja Hospital in Phaya Thai.

I’m always very cautious when dealing with this kind of thing (ie my life) because I don’t know what skill level to expect. There’s also the fact that you can’t count on the ability of staff to speak English, so my other half had to come along.

Because I legally work for a Thai company, I have health insurance (something new for me) which covers me for up to 700 Baht per day. While this not sound like much, it’s quite good for your day-to-day illnesses.

The nurse spoke English, which was handy, and took my blood pressure and temperature before I got to see the doctor. Normally it would take 20-30 minutes back home to see a doctor, but here it took 5.

I’ve seen this doctor before but previous times he’s spoken Thai to my other half, who translated everything for me. This time he spoke English, and he spoke it well too! It makes me scratch my head in wonder as to why he didn’t do it before.

Here’s the thing though – he prescribed me a LOT of medication. I’m on amoxycillin, two different mucolytics and some paracetamol. All of this came to the tidy sum of 788 Baht (meaning I had to cough up 88 baht – not literally though), which makes me curious about whether or not I really needed all of this medication.

It’s the two mucolytics that make me wonder. Any medical professionals care to comment?

8 Comments so far

  1. Baba (unregistered) on March 8th, 2005 @ 8:54 pm

    I’ve heard that doctors here have a tendency to over prescribe.

  2. Bkk (unregistered) on March 9th, 2005 @ 1:17 pm

    First, Thai doctors always overprescribe. At many (most ?) hospitals in Thailand, doctors receive a percentage of the money for tests they get you to take and medicine they dispense to you. So there is a good chance the antibiotics were prescribed unncessarily. If you have a virus (cold, flu) antibiotics will not help as antibiotics cannot control viruses – see UK govt and US university website. However, it would be very unwise to start a course of antibiotics and suddenly stop. Next time, a Thai doctor wants to give you a lot of drugs, ask what illness you have, then if in doubt go to a better hospital the next day, and get another diagnosis (you can always keep the first set of drugs).

    Next time, go to BNH, Samativej, or Bumrungrad, you might pay a little more (although last time I saw a non-specialist at Bumgrunrad it only cost 250 baht for the doctor’s services), I have received much better medical treatment at the better private hospitals. The cheaper private hospitals should normally be avoided at all costs.

  3. Paul (unregistered) on March 9th, 2005 @ 6:02 pm

    When my wife’s boss is prescribed more medication than his daily insurance coverage permits, he asks the doctor to issue 2 prescriptions for half the amount each, and he will get the 2nd half of the prescription filled on a seperate day so he doesn’t half to pay anything out of pocket.

  4. nocturn (unregistered) on March 9th, 2005 @ 7:56 pm

    What she said, thai doctors notoriously over prescribe.

    Thais are also generally very quick to medicate.

    If you have ever had a cold, your thai friends will immediately ask if you have taken medicine, even though there is no cure.

    As for what your doctor gave you, if you have the same flu/tonsilitis thing that has been going around, you would probably be able to get away with just the amoxycillin.

    I also agree with Baba’s call on the hospital. you will get better more modern care at BNH, Bumrungrad or Samitevej.

    If you ever need to be admitted make sure it is one of these three, preferbaly Bumrungrad with its amazing assortment of restaurants. Its essentially a 4-5 star hotel with medical service.

  5. Scolli (unregistered) on March 9th, 2005 @ 8:59 pm

    Talking about hospitals I put a small story on my blog about hospitals in Thailand and the difference between a farang and Thai hospital.

  6. Baba (unregistered) on March 10th, 2005 @ 2:14 pm

    Indeed BNH, Bumrungrad etc are excellent hospitals. But I have to say that I had an operation last year at Chulalongkorn Hospital as they were the only hospital with the specialist equipment and I’ve absolutely nothing to fault them in. Everything was excellent from the doctor, the nurses and my private room. AND I only had to wait a month for my operation.

  7. Bkk (unregistered) on March 10th, 2005 @ 6:42 pm

    Baba: If I was really sick with some weird disease, I would be quite happy to go to Chula or the Mahidol hospitals (Siriraj, Ramathibodi, and Tropical Medicine hospitals). Many of the doctors at these public hospitals are the same ones who practise medicine at the larger better-known private ones.

    However, if I just wanted to see an ordinary doctor/GP for a consultation, I would go to a private hospital. At a public hospital, you could spend hours in a queue waiting to see a doctor (the three Mahidol hospitals provide medical services to around 2.5 million out-patients annually!). If you show up for a consultation, you might get one of the better doctors, but you could just as equally get some fresh-faced resident.

    But if I go to a private hospital, I avoid the cheaper private hospitals like the plague.

  8. teaz0r (unregistered) on March 13th, 2005 @ 7:49 pm

    i go to either vichaiyut, which is near my parent’s place. or BNH, which is near where i live.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.