Thailand is a country that is uniquely qualified as a destination for the patient seeking medical care and it is a policy of the Thai government to be supportive of the work of Thai hospitals in providing medical care to foreigners.
A country's ability to provide care for non-residents is necessarily built on the structure created to treat its own people. Only a country with well-trained professionals working in a system that is well organized and which embraces excellence can hope to build a system to treat visitors coming to that country for medical care. The leading hospitals have worked to provide a welcoming attitude to visitors and their families.
Thailand's place in Asia is unique; as the only country in Southeast Asia not to suffer the indignity of colonization it has been a self-confident, outward looking, internationally minded country and has always been an attractive country to foreigners. Many companies and International agencies choose Bangkok to be their Asia headquarters. Its climate and positive attitude towards foreigners has also made it a popular destination for retirees either as permanent or as occasional residents. The country has responded by providing medical care for these visitors. BNH Hospital (previously known as the Bangkok Nursing Home) was established in 1898 as the first hospital to offer care to foreign residents. Other hospital followed and now the country has a series of International hospitals dedicated to provide medical care of a high standard to Thai people, expatriate residents, tourists and patients coming to Thailand specifically for Medical care.
Thailand has succeeded in creating an admirable Health Care system by combining its own inherent sense of warmth and hospitality with a well-educated medical community using modern medical technology. For over a century Thai doctors have been training in the west and then returning home to introduce and integrate their new skills into the Thai system.
For the Thai people there is a system of universal health care throughout the country. In each district, health centers staffed by nurses dispense primary care at very little cost to their patients. A system of community hospitals provides primary and some secondary care throughout the country. Each province has provincial hospitals providing secondary and some tertiary care.
Young doctors as part of their national obligation are required to spend two to three years providing care in these hospitals. Medications, with some limitations, are also provided without cost. In the major cities government hospitals provide primary, secondary and tertiary care to local patients and those referred to them. Like health services throughout the world there are budgetary and other problems, but Thailand delivers a standard of care that is superior to any of its neighbors.
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