Thailand is often considered a top travel destination due to its serene beaches, secluded island cities, gorgeous landscapes, and exhilarating water sports. People from all over the world make their way to the Asian country, fondly referred to as the Land of Smiles to shake off the stress of city life. While Thailand may be popular for its tourism, it has much more to offer, such as the country’s healthcare system for citizens and tourists alike.
Expats living in Thailand have access to world-class medical facilities once they sign up for the public medical aid system. This blog will give a better understanding of the healthcare programs in the country.
Thai Healthcare System
There are two ways of getting medical services in Thailand
- Public health
- Private health insurance
Thai Public Health
Expats working in Thailand have to sign up for the public health program part of the Universal Coverage Scheme. It is funded through taxes and monthly deductions from employees’ salaries. That is, if you are an ex-pat employed in Thailand, you will have to register for the UCS, which will be financed by 5% of your monthly salary.
In simple terms, once you get into the public health system, 5% of your income a month will be deducted under the account of UCS.
The Universal Coverage Scheme assigns you to a particular hospital, where you can go for treatment and go for free by simply showing your ID and social security number. The downside to this system is the restriction of visiting just one medical facility. So if you wanted to consult a different doctor that doesn’t work at your specific hospital, you would need to pay out of pocket.
Moreover, if you are a beneficiary of the UCS, you will have to suffer through long queues and wait for a while to get to the doctor. That also holds for procedures and labs.
Since public clinics are crowded, there are often long waiting times. Due to this, many people opt for public health insurance. It gives better, more comprehensive medical coverage and saves you from having to stand in lines.
Private Health Insurance in Thailand
Private health insurance in Thailand works the same way as in any other country. You choose a policy depending on your needs and pay the premium. Then when a medical need arises, you get the necessary treatment, pay for it upfront, and get reimbursed later.
There are two types of private health programs you can sign up for.
Domestic Private Insurance: As the title suggests, this program only works within the borders of Thailand. So, if you have to travel somewhere and you need medical care, you will have to pay for it out of pocket.
International Private Insurance: This program, on the other hand, gives health coverage in all countries along with Thailand. Let’s say you visit your homeland or go on a trip to a different country; you will not have to worry about medical expenses because your international private insurance policy will cover them all.
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