Thailand scored very highly on infrastructure and the competitive cost of medical services which has made the kingdom a growing centre for medical tourism.

A highflying American magazine read by top executives worldwide has designated Thailand’s healthcare system as the sixth-best in the world from 89 countries indexed. The announcement was welcomed this week by both the senior and junior ministers at Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and his junior at the ministry Sathit Pitutecha both expressed delight at the ranking in a world magazine aimed at high flying executives. The magazine’s healthcare index examined 89 countries.

The Public Health Minster Anutin Charnvirakul has welcomed the ranking of Thailand’s healthcare system in sixth place in the world after a respected US magazine published a complete world healthcare index. The minister, however, warned against complacency within the service to improve as he urged a focus on achieving the best outcome for the Thai public.

‘Collective effort got us here’ – Thai junior minister for public health welcoming the ranking

Thailand’s Deputy Public Health Minister, Sathit Pitutecha after hearing the news praised the workers in the Thai healthcare system including professionals and volunteers. ‘Collective effort got us here,’ the junior government minister said.

New tiered pricing in public hospitals for foreigners

It comes a week after it was revealed that the previous minister had set out a new tiered pricing structure to apply to foreigners and tourists in Thai public hospitals when it comes to medical charges. The new regulations are now law and the price schedules will be applied from September 30th.

The move set out for the first time to regulate and standardise charges in Thai public hospitals across the country where charges are still only a fraction of the cost of western health services. In most countries, foreign citizens or non-nationals are obliged to pay at commercial rates while prior to this foreigners and tourists were charged at the discretion of the hospital for publicly subsidised health services.

Healthcare index published by highflying CEOWORLD magazine read by senior executives

The ranking of Thailand’s healthcare as sixth in the world was announced last month by CEOWORLD a worldwide magazine read by senior executives from CEOS and to finance officers in companies who conduct business in a global business world.

Extensive and professional health care system an attraction for retirees moving to Thailand

The progress and development in Thailand’s healthcare system is one of the reasons that so many retirees in the last few decades opted to relocate to Thailand.

In recent years, this influx has created a problem with seniors presenting themselves in medical emergencies without having viable health coverage. This led this year to the Thai government introducing compulsory health coverage through a health insurance market and regulations developed by the government in association with the Immigration Bureau and the Thai General Insurance Association. This has led to affordable health care packages being made available to retirees in significant volumes to keep prices competitive.

Thailand scored 67.99 in the healthcare index

The basis for Thailand’s ranking in the world survey was the Healthcare Index created by the publication. In it, Thailand scored 67.99 with a high score for infrastructure, the modest cost of Thai healthcare services and the availability of medicines and government policies designed to promote healthy living. Thailand had a lower than average score when it came to professional competence.

Taiwan topped the index while Venezuela was last

Taiwan topped the list at number one at 78.72 while Japan and South Korea came in second and third place. The other places in the top ten were filled by European countries which saw Austria in fourth place, Spain seventh, France eighth and Belgium following up in ninth. Australia’s health care system was in tenth place. The Healthcare index examined 9 countries and Venezuela emerged as the country with the most impaired health service.

Hybrid between commercial hospitals and practices in public hospitals works well

Thailand’s healthcare service is a practical hybrid between commercially-run hospitals and a public service system that extends into the community. The principle of paying or making a contribution to the service is firmly upheld although government subsidies and targeted welfare make it still a public healthcare system that is both accessible and used efficiently by the poor.

The commercial hospitals and the growing business of medical tourism has helped Thailand’s healthcare service succeed and is one of the reasons why it scores so highly in terms of infrastructure.

The patient-centred focus and service approach at all Thai hospitals compares favourably for instance with some European public health services and in real commercial terms, it is far less expensive.

Further reading:

Thai Ministry of Health brings in tiered pricing for medical services to foreigners and tourists

50-year-old Dutchman suffering from cancer files complaint against Hua Hin hospital over fees

Battlefield friends help UK man and wife escape medical bill of £12k in Thailand. Now safely home

New health coverage proposals for foreigners in Thailand a concern for those with medical conditions