Cost and the Hospital

My five day adventure through the generic sounding Bangkok Hospital Group set me back 114,454 Baht ($3,815). Assuming expenses for the rest of this month are normal that will leave me under budget for the year. In other words, I can afford this. Still, the horror tales of hospital bills in the millions of baht instead of my measly little 100 thousand baht means I’m talking to a couple insurance guys tomorrow who I’ve previously requested info from.

Below is what was done to me (for me?) and the cost. Always had good health insurance while living in the states, so I have no idea what any of this costs there. I’m sure it’s sufficiently higher so as to explain much of the medical tourism of US citizens to Thailand.

Each of the ‘Day #’ headings shows total cost for the day(s) in question. Following lines break down that cost into major areas. Exchange rate used is 30 Baht per US $

Day 1. Outpatient: 2,385 B ($80)

Office visit including new patient history, 2 physial exams, 1 procedure by Doc, 1 by nurse, abdominal x-ray series of 3 shots, meds.

Diagnosis: obstructed bowel.

Day 2. Outpatient: 25,479 B ($849)

Return to same Doc because of substantial increase in pain.

Abdominal cat scan with barium trace – 10,000 B ($333)
Physician evaluation – 800 B ($27)
Seven blood tests – 2,106 B ($70)
Misc Medical Supplies – 1,610 B ($54)
Meds – 1,323 B ($44)

Diagnosis: Needed additional test(s) to pick among several possible.

The BHG hospital in my town, Hua Hin, is not equipped for those tests as it opened on Jan 1 of this year and is slowly expanding services offered. I was transfered to the main BHG hospital in Bangkok.

Ambulance transport (3 hr ride) with nurse – 9,640 B ($321)

Hospital Pre-Admission Deposit – 100,000 B ($3,333)

Thailand has public hospitals for those who can’t pay and private hospitals for those who can. There are two ways to be admitted to the BHG’s mothership hospital. The first is to have your insurance verified. The second is to hand over 100k B in cash or against a credit/debit card. I wondered how much of the 100k I’d get back, but didn’t care much because of the morphine. I expect the amount of up-front money varies with the patient’s condition.

Day 3 – 5. In-Patient: 86,590 B ($2,886)

Drugs – 13,787 B ($460)
Medical supplies and equipment – 4,062 B ($135)
Gastro Endoscopy and labs – 20,216 B ($674)
Abdominal X-Ray series – 2,860 B ($95)
Nursing – 5,000 B ($167)
Doctors – 17,950 B ($598)
Private Room, Standard type for 3 nights – 10,815 B ($361)

Includes basic nursing, housekeeping services and food. Besides the usual medical bed and equipment, the room has a microwave, 4′ tall refrigerator, hot water pot, 2 sets of plate/bowl/glass/cup/flatware, flat screen TV, dvd player, table with 2 chairs, writing table and stool, recliner chair and sofa. The latter two are useful for the friend or family members who want to stay with you 24/7. There are three more expensive room types.

‘Packaged Medical Charge’ – 11,900 B ($397)

Diagnosis: Gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastrc ulcers, but both caught at very early stages.


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