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Friend (US Citizen) in ICU, no savings or insurance - don't know what to do for the best

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Hi everyone,


This is a very long story so I'll try to keep it short.


Friend is a US citizen, has lived in Thailand about 20 years.


Worked and paid into SSF for at least 10 of those years that I know of. Left one job, got another, job turned out to be a mess, never paid him or his SSF.


This was in 2019 or so, he then got diagnosed with advanced TB.


Through treatment and related complications he hasn't been able to work since and through the support of me, friends and family has been able to keep his head above water just about.


Hasn't been able to travel to US due to requirement of Medivac which he can't afford.


Anyway a few days ago he was rushed to ICU at Camilian Hospital (the closest to his condo) as he couldn't breathe, it was touch and go.


He's now stable, on a ventilator and positive for Pneumonia which is being treated.


So far the bill is running to 30-40,000 Baht a day.


Between me, another friend and his family we've been able to keep the bills paid but today the specialist said he will likely be in ICU for at least 10 more days if not more.


We literally won't be able to afford it.


My Thai is ok but too limited to deal with something of this complexity and his friend who is Thai is doing her best but isn't in the best mental state as you can imagine.


I've tried calling in favours but my list has run out.


We have contacted Chula and the Chest Hospital where he was receiving treatment but haven't received anything resembling a go ahead to get him transferred.


I'm not asking for money, I know he should have had insurance etc but this is where we find ourselves.


If we take him home, he will certainly die in a horrific way (essentially drowning in sputum), but we can't afford to keep him there. There has been no clarity on what happens if we stop paying the bills (obviously a hospital isn't going to tell you that it's "ok" to do that) or what happens if we try to transfer him elsewhere, or even how that would be logistically possible.


So I'm looking for any guidance or advice you would kindly be able to give. Thank you.

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1 minute ago, Mitkof Island said:

30,000 to 40,000 baht a day in the ICU? There must be something cheaper in Bangkok.

I'm sure there is, although I think the actual ICU cost is around 12,000 a day. The rest is for testing, machinery and various other line items.


The bigger issue I guess is at some point soon we'll run into a brick wall where it doesn't much matter how much the ICU costs because we don't have anything left to pay with.

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best of luck.  keep your spirits high for yourself and for your friend, and you are a good friend for posting here.  My company has horrible insurance, I know it, and it probably would only cover minor accidents; however, I've done nothing about it.  I think they cover me up to about 20,000 in a gov't hospital, total.  rest out of my pocket.  

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7 minutes ago, dj230 said:

Tell him to take out a loan, put it on a credit card or liquidate his belongings


surely he has assets in excess of 300k baht, house, car, cellphone, laptop, jewellery, gold, etc. 


it sucks what happened but there’s no real easy way to say it other than someone has to pay and it should be him. 

He doesn't unfortunately, I'm sure he did at one point but not working for 3 years has cut him to the bone. He's also barely conscious and on a ventilator so entirely unable to organise anything himself.


So whether or not I like it, I'm in the position of needing to figure it out.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, proton said:

Has he no family back home to help?

He does have very little family and they have agreed to help within their ability but at the rate of $1K+ a day their ability to help won’t get us far and us slamming into a wall of having no more funds is coming up real quick.

Edited by jimmiejackson
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12 minutes ago, brianthainess said:

Absolutely don't take on the responsibility, let the next of kin and his Embassy deal with it, I know I was in a similar situation, it can stress you out, get a contact number at his embassy, and follow their advice.  They can liaise between you and next of kin (if known).  

From what I understand the Embassy was contacted before and not interested in helping but I can try again, thanks. 

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Get him moved to a public hospital ASAP ! ask the embassy what should I do WHEN he dies ? always get a name. sorry to be so blunt but....

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4 minutes ago, brianthainess said:

Isn't it past your bedtime  ?

Not quite, but soon!

rather than checking for overstayers, perhaps they should be checking for insurance, if none then send them home!

what about yesterday? A man from the UK has dementia and wants to come to Thailand?

we can read about him soon!

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36 minutes ago, KhunLA said:


 Cut your losses, if his or his wife's family are helping.  Tells you everything you need to know.

Should read ... "are NOT helping"

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