Do Thailand’s private or government hospitals offer better care? The answer may surprise you

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Choosing between a government and private hospital can be a tough decision. You may be attracted to the affordable costs of a government hospital, but a bit skeptical of the quality of treatment. You may also be confused as to why private hospitals cost more. Are you paying for better doctors? Better facilities? Or something else altogether? Some of the answers may surprise you.

The biggest differentiator of private hospital care

The main factor that separates private hospitals from others is their tertiary care. “Tertiary care” is a term that means specialty care. For example, at a high end private hospital you will find surgeons that solely specialize in one type of liver surgery or solely specialize in one type of brain surgery. The only type of surgery these surgeons perform is on that one specific organ, and he or she knows everything there is about that one specific disease. As these specialists require certain tests, these hospitals will also be equipped with specialty machines, which non-tertiary private or government hospitals may lack.

What defines a government hospital?

What typically defines a government hospital is the wait for treatment and the customer service. As government hospitals can be accessed affordably by the entire population, there is often a queue. Patients may have to wait several weeks, or even months, before they can see a doctor or get a specific sophisticated test.

At private hospitals, however, there is very little wait. What’s more, private hospitals typically have better customer service and more polished looking facilities. When you enter, you’ll be greeted and the staff will generally grant you special attention to fulfill your needs. As for the interior design, private hospitals are often much more modern and sometimes even look like a hotel, whereas government hospitals can often appear outdated.

Is the quality of care substandard at government hospitals?

When many people hear the word “government hospital”, they often believe the care isn’t as good as a private hospital. This, however, is not always true. In fact, sometimes the care can be better in a government hospital. Some of Thailand’s premier government hospitals, such as Chulalongkorn, Ramathibodee and Siriraj, are staffed with exceptional doctors and are some of the best equipped hospitals in the world. You may wonder, though, how can an affordable government hospital have better care? The queue at a government hospital actually is directly tied to the answer.

A specialty doctor at a government hospital sometimes has much more experience than the same specialty doctor at a private hospital. With experience comes better care. For example, a heart surgeon at a government hospital may regularly perform over 20 open-heart surgeries a month, whereas a full-time heart surgeon at a private hospital may only conduct two. Therefore, the government hospital surgeon may have much more experience than his private hospital counterpart and can produce a better result for his patient.

When deciding which type of hospital to choose for your care, we at LUMA recommend you consider all your options. If you don’t want to bother with a wait, or if you prefer exceptional customer service, a private hospital is probably a better choice. If you’re looking for the best care, don’t automatically write off government hospitals. You may just find an experienced doctor at a much more affordable cost.

If you need help choosing the best hospital for your treatment or need advice on selecting insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts at LUMA. We are happy to advise you and help in any way possible. Contact us today at [email protected] to learn how we can help improve your health while providing comprehensive medical coverage.

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