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Visa Type and Government Hospital Charges


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I learned yesterday from a government hospital that hospitals charges and fees for foreigners are based on your visa type. If you are a foreigner working in Thailand with a work permit, your hospital charges would be less than a foreigner with an O-type visa. 

 

The hospital employee informed me there is a regulation that mandates this. Does anyone know of a table or guideline that  is used to determine how much a foreigner will pay for various hospital services?

 

I also learned that if a foreigner does not pay their hospital bill in full, the hospital will keep them on as a patient ( I hestitate using the word, "detain") and the patient will be charged for each day they are in the hospital until the bill is paid.  If this is true, is it legal?

 

Any information would be appreciated.

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With the exception of teachers in private schools and some director/owners, foreigners who work in Thailand are enrolled in the social security scheme which includes healthcare. So when they show up at their registered hospital they get treated for free. 

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I think that government hospitals were given permission to charge foreigners higher prices than Thais. My recollection is that work permit holders and those with PR could be charged up to 50% more than the Thai price. Other foreigners up to 100 percent more. The hospitals are allowed, but not required, to charge the higher prices.

 

I think free care under the social security scheme is restricted to the one hospital where the social security participant is registered unless referred by that hospital to another.

 

I will defer to those with more current or correct info on this however.

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3 hours ago, Etaoin Shrdlu said:

I think that government hospitals were given permission to charge foreigners higher prices than Thais. My recollection is that work permit holders and those with PR could be charged up to 50% more than the Thai price. Other foreigners up to 100 percent more. The hospitals are allowed, but not required, to charge the higher prices.

 

I think free care under the social security scheme is restricted to the one hospital where the social security participant is registered unless referred by that hospital to another.

 

I will defer to those with more current or correct info on this however.

As far as I know that is about right.

In October 2019 there was a big uproar on here about a new hospital price list for foreigners. I had cataract surgery at Ban Phaeo on one eye in the Sept and booked for the other in Dec. It was a bit of a concern how much I was going to have to pay. No problem, price was the same and when I went back for checkup prices were just as they had been.

I normally use Bang Saen and prices there haven't changed since I started about 6 years ago. As you said, up to hospitals.

 

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The local government hospital where I live charges me 50 baht for a doctor visit.  I'm on a retirement extension.

Edited by rwill
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Private hospitals, such as Samitivej, which I use, charge exorbitant prices for Thais and foreigners to begin with. So they are not applying any "multiples" or special "foreigner rates". I believe BumRunGrad to be the same.

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All my recent hospital bills from various Nakorn Ratchasima and Khon Kaen hospitals mention me as a "Self Funded Foreigner"

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Chulalongkorn Bangkok is my main hospital and they are charging foreigners the same prices as Thais who don't fall under UHS / Social security scheme.

The bill is always labelled in Thai script as private patient.

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Used for years King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, = 2.5 hours each way [6 wheel bus + local bus + Purple Line end to end + Metro]  go every 100 days... = all day job .. Not good with Covid 19 + my age

 

Looked/asked at a lot of Pharmacies even so say cheap one are so expensive. 

Asked my Dr at Chula he said ALL government hospital charge the same price, just take my Meds Prescription  from Chula

 

Last week went to my local government hospital [10 mins away] = no problem and have all my meds....

 

As for price yes was more or less the same price, some of the pills were different brands but still 3,420 baht [about 70 baht more]   The cheapest I could find online / Line /phone was between 11,000 - 13,000 baht..

 

My Insulin being the biggest difference  I pay 420 baht at Chula per box of 5.......  pharmacies were 675 - 1,100+ 

Edited by ignis
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5 hours ago, Sheryl said:

I have not heard of any hospitals applying this sort of 2 tired pricing tio foreigners based on vidsa type and would be hard in practice, hospital; cashiers are nto familiar with visas and what they would look like in a passport.

Agree. I have never had any hospital seek info on my visa status.

But whatever your nationality, it's advisable to get your pills somewhere other than the hospital which will charge five times what they are available for outside.

Edited by Disparate Dan
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7 minutes ago, Disparate Dan said:

Agree. I have never had any hospital seek info on my visa status.

But whatever your nationality, it's advisable to get your pills somewhere other than the hospital which will charge five times what they are available for outside.

 

not usually the case with government hospitals.

 

But very true of private ones.

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10 hours ago, Sheryl said:

 

not usually the case with government hospitals.

 

But very true of private ones.

Have been asked for a up to date copy of Passport + Visa status  a few times over the years at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital

 

on the other hand my local government hospital has never asked in 17 years, likewise a small Private Hospital been registered there for years..

 

local government hospital used to go for minor things, problem lack of Meds + very little English......... small Private Hospital was up to a point better but all Drs were form a big hospital and anything more than basic then was sent to a different Hospital.... = when I had something major 2015 went to the Red Cross [Chula] they have everything. just with Covid not sure it is safe to travel that far...

 

 

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Thank you to all who responded. I appreciate your help. Here is what happened in more detail.

 

The hospital official whom I  negotiated with about my daugher's bill worked in a department that exclusively deals with foreign customers; she spoke fluent English. They have an office in the hospital with signage - Foreign Customers.  She brought my issues about the bill to the hospital's director. The official told me the director made the final decision about my charges.

 

I thought perhaps my daughter would be billed at the same rate as me because I have a work vias/permit and she is my dependent. The official informed me the director insisted my daughter be billed at the highest rate ,i.e. anyone with an O visa is billed at the same rate, no exceptions. She closed by telling me they were following the regulations.

 

It is for the reasons above that I brought this post to this forum. The people here offer a breadth of knowldge.  I hoped someone here might know if a government hospital billing schedule for foreigners existed. 

 

The consensus seems to be individual hospitals have a lot of discretion  in billing foreigners. I hate to be cycnical but this type of set-up sounds like it could profitable for some in positions of power. I have no proof of this so it is merely a thought I share.

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6 minutes ago, jingjai9 said:

Thank you to all who responded. I appreciate your help. Here is what happened in more detail.

 

The hospital official whom I  negotiated with about my daugher's bill worked in a department that exclusively deals with foreign customers; she spoke fluent English. They have an office in the hospital with signage - Foreign Customers.  She brought my issues about the bill to the hospital's director. The official told me the director made the final decision about my charges.

 

I thought perhaps my daughter would be billed at the same rate as me because I have a work vias/permit and she is my dependent. The official informed me the director insisted my daughter be billed at the highest rate ,i.e. anyone with an O visa is billed at the same rate, no exceptions. She closed by telling me they were following the regulations.

 

It is for the reasons above that I brought this post to this forum. The people here offer a breadth of knowldge.  I hoped someone here might know if a government hospital billing schedule for foreigners existed. 

 

The consensus seems to be individual hospitals have a lot of discretion  in billing foreigners. I hate to be cycnical but this type of set-up sounds like it could profitable for some in positions of power. I have no proof of this so it is merely a thought I share.

If you are enrolled in the social security scheme and your daughter is 15 years or younger you can claim her medical expenses back from social security. 

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In Chiang Mai, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai (Suan Dok or Chiang Mai University) Hospital and Nakorn Ping Hospital have a foreigner room rate that is higher than what is charged to Thai people.  Other charges are the same.  They started to do this back in 2018 or 2019 after have several unfortunate incidents where foreigners (and/or their significant others) were more demanding than the average Thai patient.  These are both government hospitals.  Other government hospitals in Chiang Mai may do the same thing.  Private hospitals do not -- foreigners and Thai people are charged the same rate.

 

The government hospitals charge Thai people and foreigners the same rate for meds (a good bargain), outpatient services, tests, etc, it's just the room rates that are higher and really outrageously high for a bed in a ward that was designed for six beds and has nine crammed in.

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On 6/15/2021 at 3:56 PM, timendres said:

Private hospitals, such as Samitivej, which I use, charge exorbitant prices for Thais and foreigners to begin with. So they are not applying any "multiples" or special "foreigner rates". I believe BumRunGrad to be the same.

I am interested as to how you  define “exorbitant prices” and what you compare them with to reach this conclusion.

If it is Government hospitals there is no correlation as Private hospitals receive no government funding.

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4 hours ago, StevieAus said:

I am interested as to how you  define “exorbitant prices” and what you compare them with to reach this conclusion.

If it is Government hospitals there is no correlation as Private hospitals receive no government funding.

 

My apologies for the wording. "Exorbitant" in the eyes of most Thai people. When I showed my bill to a few people, they were shocked at the cost. Of course, for me, a US citizen, the entire bill for major surgery was less than what the overnight room would cost me back home.

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14 minutes ago, timendres said:

 

My apologies for the wording. "Exorbitant" in the eyes of most Thai people. When I showed my bill to a few people, they were shocked at the cost. Of course, for me, a US citizen, the entire bill for major surgery was less than what the overnight room would cost me back home.

I think the people who are shocked are the ones who come from countries that have a health system that does not require any payment, or perhaps Thais who use the 30 baht system.

Personally I find the private hospital costs here including dental are very reasonable for the standard and care provided and certainly compared with private treatment in Australia.

Unfortunately there are many people around who think everything in life should be free.

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ow dear !!! charge foreigners more than Thais sure this will encourage foreigners to retire in Thailand

 which is Thailand government  wish to help the economy   1/10 again- blinkers still on 

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