Between Soi 1 and Soi 3 on Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand
www.bumrungrad.com/htm/eng - 66 (0) 2667 1000
Bumrungrad Hospital Bangkok Reviews
Jul 07, 2007
Revision 7 May 07. An acquintance of mine mentioned that he had read this review and was curious about my recommendations. Indeed, I have learned and heard more stories that I need to revise my review.
Several friends have told me of significant problems with mis-diagnosis and mis-treatment of conditions at Bumrungrad. The common thread seems to be that for complex or fairly uncommon conditions, the doctors commonly don't know how to handle the situation. For example, I have a friend who was being given treatment at Bumrungrad that was not helping his condition. On a hapenstance consultation with another doctor, he discovered that the treatment prescribed at Bumrungrad was actually worsening his condition. A new treatment is now helping him feel better.
The causes for this are probably complex, but I think there are two factors that are cause for concern. First, Thailand does not have any malpractice lawsuits. Although this may help keep the health care cheaper, it also means that there is no accountability for bad doctors. Also, I have heard second hand from other doctors that the culture of 'saving face' and status means that the hospitals will not keep records or speak about mistakes made by a doctor. You as the patient will not have any way to access a history of the doctors performance, and the hospital is loath to even discuss problems with the doctors. Finally, doctors are very hesitant to admit that they don't have a solution because to do so would be to loose face, so they will prescribe some treatment just to appear as if they are doing something.
This review is of course, only my opinion, but I think the bottom line is this. If you have routine conditions like food poisoning or bronchitis, you should be able to get the right treatment. But if you are dealing with a complex situation, you might get a second opinion at an unrelated hospital.
The original review is included below for reference.
A good thing to know when spending any significant period of time in a foreign country is where to get medical assistance. Bangkok hosts quite a few international quality hospitals, and the one considered to be the best in all of South East Asias is Bumrungrad.
Bumrungrad is located in between Soi's 1 and 3 on Sukhumvit Road, in the heart of Bangkok. The hospital does offer ambulance service, but in an emergency, you may be better off catching the nearest cab - the ambulance doesn't neccessarily get anywhere any faster than the cabs do. The hospital complex includes outpatient and inpatient centers, a long term stay facility, an emergency/trauma center and a fitness and nutrion center.
The hospital is a common destination for people seeking elective surgery, especially plastic surgery. The hospital is often crowded with Middle Easterners in town specifically to use the hospital. Travelers with less than urgent medical needs can often take a vacation in Bangkok and then get the surgery for the same cost as getting it done at home in a western country.
The rooms vary from nice to luxurious. Birthing suites in particular can be cheaper than some hotel rooms in the area, and feature large two room, two bath suites with televisions and restaurant food delivery. Regular regular can choose from private hospital rooms or multi room suites as well. A mother giving birth by C section can expect to be in the hospital for as long as she likes, and expect to get out for less than $1000 US, including the delivery.
Unlike western hospitals, Bumrungrad usually schedules appointments directly with specialists, rather than directing you to a generalist first. A patient with food poisoning should not be surprised to find themselves in the Digestive Disease center conlulsting a Gatroenterolgist. I myself have had a pnumonia diagnosis delivered by a Pulminary specialist trained at Harvard Medical School, and, including four medications, the total bill was $35 USD.
So, if you are considering Medical tourism, or find yourself in Bangkok in need of a doctor, you should really consider Bumrungrad Hospital. Other hospitals in the area, Including BNH and the like probably offer nearly equivalent level of service but Bumrungrad is renowned as the best in the region.
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