30 baht health care for Thais

Medical issues, doctors, dentists, opticians and hospitals in Hua Hin and Thailand.
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hhfarang
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30 baht health care for Thais

Post by hhfarang » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:41 pm

Just a note of warning to those of you who have wives or Thai family depending on the 30 baht health care sceme.

My sister-in-law was diagnosed with appendicitis about ten days ago. While waiting for surgery, which should have been done right away but was not because she had to wait in line for the surgeon her appendix burst making it much worse and life threatening.

They got her into surgery and cleaned up the mess as best they could but now she has been lying in a 50 person ward for three days getting minimal attention suffering with her side open because it is infected and so they cannot stitch it closed.

This relative has never asked me for anything and still didn't but I could see my wife was on the phone a lot and was upset and it took urging but she finally told me the story.

In short, her sister might die and probably will unless she gets to a proper facility where you pay for private care. My wife spoke to the doctor in such a facility and it's going to take 17000 baht to get her treated immediatly and continually until she recovers. I'm happy to send the money as nothing is more important that the life of a family member. They actually resisted and her husband was going to mortgage the farm for the money but to get that loan would take several days, up to a week and she would only get sicker or worse yet, pass away.

My reason for posting this is not to toot my philanthropy horn; it is as a warning to others. DO NOT depend on the 30 baht system for anyone you care about. Make sure you have savings to cover an illness or get them some insurance. Life is cheap here but proper medical treatment is cheap also so go with the latter one.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by Big Boy » Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:55 pm

All that I can say is that my wife has had excellent care at Hua Hin Hospital under the 30 Baht scheme. They have bent over backwards to help her.

I was doing a combination of 30 Baht/private care, but they have persuaded me that I am only throwing my money away when they can provide the same care for 30 Baht.

We have had 4 relatives fall ill in Isaan in the last 12 months, and I have thought the inevitable cash request was coming. Each time, I've asked with trepidation if there was anything they needed, and the reply each time was, "No, they have the 30 Baht scheme, same as me."

I actually think the treatment of my wife at Hua Hin Hospital is superior to what she had under the NHS. When I moved here I was a bit of a 'hospital snob' based on what I'd read. Now that I've seen what they have done for my wife, I will have no fear of using the hospital for my own healthcare.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by HHTel » Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:06 pm

I use Hua Hin Hospital every time and have no complaints. My mother visits for 3 months every year (she'll be 90 on her next visit), and she usually needs treatment of some form or other. Her opinion of Hua Hin Hospital is that "It knocks spots of the so-called NHS back home".

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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by hhfarang » Mon Sep 22, 2014 1:51 pm

Maybe the local hospital where my family lives in inundated or the administrators are incompetent, but they nearly (and still may) killed her by forcing her to wait days until her appendix exploded.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by Big Boy » Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:08 pm

I think we are lucky here because our hospital has more diagnostic equipment than the average public hospital, but some of our residents are a bit special also :wink:
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by hhfarang » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:13 pm

Consider us lucky as the hospital where she was has only one surgeon and he operates on a first come first serve basis, hence the burst appendix, which takes it from a very simple surgery to a life threatening situation.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by Big Boy » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:42 pm

I've got a friend in Cha-Am. If they can't adequately handle the case they are referred to Petcharat. Because they have been referred under the 30 Baht scheme, the cost of treatment remains at 30 Baht.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by hhfarang » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:54 am

My sis-in-law is in Loei Province and there are only two real hospitals (there are smaller ones that I would call more of a clinic) within over 100 kilometers, the government hospital that when she needed treatment had only one surgeon with about 100 people queued up for surgery and a private hospital in Loei City. They didn't refer her to the private one but just made her wait. The government hospital has two separate facilities, much like the one here in that you can go straight 30 baht in with the herd, or get a better room and service if you pay extra, in this case in her dire condition, a doctor suggested moving her to the other facility to hopefully save her life. That doctor is the one who estimated the cost at 17k as she will be in the hospital under constant care for quite a while with the level of infection she has now.

My point is, no matter what hospital you go to, if you have a situation like this, you can't wait in a queue while it gets worse. You need treatment right away. Appendix removal before it bursts is very routine and you can be in and out of the hospital in a day... if you wait until it bursts, the infection spreads throughout your gut making it an entirely different level of life threatening danger. This happened to her while she was waiting for the single surgeon in the government hospital and now her life is at risk.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by Big Boy » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:13 am

It sounds as though your sister-in-law lives in an area with limited medical facilities, which we don't suffer from here in Hua Hin. Money does not seem to be a problem here. As an example, one of my wife's tablets were costing me 100 Baht/day privately - a cost I had validated by the suppliers in Bangkok. That is now provided under the 30 Baht scheme with other medication. Instead of paying 36,500 Baht/year, we're now getting it for 120 Baht/year. That was just one example, but she has other 'expensive' medication provided as part of that 120 Baht/year also. I don't find our local public hospital wanting for anything.

The only problem I find with the 30 Baht scheme are the huge waiting times on appointment day. It is not unusual for an appointment to take 7 hours, but in that time, my wife receives a really thorough assessment.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by hhfarang » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:28 am

I think we are lucky in that I'm guessing we have one of the better staffed government hospitals in the country in Hua Hin.

When my wife needed surgery, we tried to use Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok. This was before the new building was opened at Hua Hin Hospital and anyone that remembers the old hospital facility here knows that it was then not a place to go to for surgery.

Anyway, we had to make about ten trips to Bangkok waiting all day to have her looked at and diagnosed, poked and proded by several physicians before they finally told us what we already knew; she needed surgery. She still had to wait a couple of months (thankfully her condition was not life threatening... yet) before they scheduled the surgery. They then put her in a ward with about 20 other patients (a very depressing place that looked like something from a couple of centuries ago) and she stayed there for nearly a week while they scheduled, and then cancelled her surgery a couple of times.

Finally, a lady doctor came over and told her that she should go to a private hospital and suggested St. Louis as it is a not for profit hospital and is less expensive that other private hospitals. I checked her out of Chula, still having to pay a bill for the days she was there, and took a cab to St. Louis on a Sunday afternoon. She had surgery the next morning.

Chula is supposed to the the best government hospital in the country and is where a lot of Thai doctors do their internship as it is a teaching hospital and yet we found ourselves in a similar situation to my inlaw.

Again, I think we are lucky, as far as a government hospital goes. Just don't wait if you feel you have an urgent condition.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by vistana » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:35 pm

Can you still register for the 30 Baht scheme at Hua Hin Hospital..... we went up there several months ago and was told they are no longer registering people for it!

Has anyone tried to register in the last few weeks or so?

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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by margaretcarnes » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:26 am

One word of caution re the 30 baht scheme. I know that originally the scheme only covered members for health care within their own Province, and not if they were travelling and outside of their home Province when care needs arose.
I've not heard about any change to that condition so assume that it still applies.
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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by HHTel » Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:02 am

As far as I know, that's still the case, Mags.

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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by vistana » Thu Sep 25, 2014 11:24 pm

So is Hua Hin Hospital now registering ex pats for the scheme again, we live in the HH area?

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Re: 30 baht health care for Thais

Post by hhfarang » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:28 am

^ Not according to what they told my wife when she went to register herself recently, and as stated above she could not register either as she is on the house paper of the home we own in her home town in Loei.
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