Staying healthy should be a priority, no matter where you live in the world. As an expat, navigating the local healthcare system can prove challenging at times, with conflicting information, language barriers, and other obstacles. Expats can also be complacent when it comes to taking care of health issues, for many different reasons. Either way, health checkups are vital for early detection and prevention.
As a world-renowned medical tourism destination, Thailand has plenty of health checkup packages for you to choose from. In fact, the abundance of choice can be overwhelming. Don’t make the mistake of settling for the cheapest option just because it’s easy and affordable. This article from our friends at Pacific Prime Thailand describes what a health checkup package in Thailand should include to help you make the right choice.
Where to get a medical checkup in Thailand
The Land of Smiles is home to several world-class government and private hospitals. Most of the country’s leading private hospitals are found in the capital city of Bangkok, such as Bangkok Hospital, Bumrungrad International Hospital, and Samitivej Hospital.
It is advisable to stick with private hospitals if your budget allows for it. While they tend to cost much more than government hospitals, they are usually value-for-money when compared to similar hospitals in the West. Expats also tend to prefer treatment at private hospitals in Thailand since medical staff and doctors can speak English.
Health checkup package options in Thailand
Despite having multiple tier options, the reality is that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution for healthcare. Keep in mind that every person has his or her unique healthcare needs when going through the options listed below. Therefore, it’s ideal to consult with a medical practitioner regarding your health concerns and family medical history before selecting a package.
Basic checkup programs are suitable for most 30 to 40-year-olds. These checkups generally last around two to three hours and cost between THB ฿3,000 to THB ฿5,000 for common tests such as:
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Blood pressure
- Pap smear
- Testicular exam
- Kidney function
- Liver function
- Glucose levels
- Complete blood count
- Chest x-ray
Mid-level checkups are suitable for those between the ages of 30 and 50, or anyone who wants to go for a more thorough health screening. Typically lasting three to four hours, you can spend anywhere from THB ฿12,000 to THB ฿22,000 for tests like:
- Eye screening
- Hearing screening
- Electrocardiography (EKG)
- Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)
- Tumor marker tests
Comprehensive checkups are often recommended for senior citizens ages 50 and older. These packages go by several names in Thailand, including Premium Life Program or Ultimate Checkup. It’s best to speak with medical staff about the different packages available since package names and age groupings vary between hospitals.
These checkups can take between four to eight hours and cost THB ฿24,000 to THB 39,000. They include tests such as:
- Eye exams
- Hepatitis screening
- Thyroid panels
- Gamma GT
- Electrolytes exam
- Vitamin B12 and calcium deficiency
- Bone density test for L-spine and hip
- Ankle-brachial index
Some hospitals also offer specific add-on packages, such as prenuptial checkups for couples that are planning for a baby. These tests usually cost around THB ฿5,000 and include:
- ABO blood grouping and Rh typing
- Hepatitis screening
- Anti HIV
- Venereal disease
- Rubella IgG
- Hemoglobin typing
How to prepare for a health checkup
There are several things that you can do before a health checkup to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible, though exact requirements depend on the type of checkup you’re getting. With that said, the following tips are ideal for any checkup.
- Do not drink or eat anything eight hours before the medical checkup
- Arrive at least 10 minutes early
- Bring your health examination records or previous health reports with you
- Follow specific instructions given to you by your healthcare center or physician
Expats without employer-provided insurance usually choose the cheapest health insurance option available, only to later find out that health checkups aren’t covered in their plan. That’s one of the many reasons why it’s advisable to work with a reputable insurance broker such as Pacific Prime, who can help you find the right plan for your exact needs, and within your budget.
Whether you’re looking for individual health insurance, family health insurance, travel insurance, or other plans, Pacific Prime Thailand is happy to help. Contact us for a free consultation or plan comparison today.