Please enter your username and password here:Forgot Password?
Please enter your details here:or Login
In Thailand, foreign nationals generally have no or little healthcare coverage, though many have some form of social health insurance. If you are uninsured, you can still go to public hospitals and clinics, but you will have to pay the full bill. The good news, however, is that public healthcare services in Thailand tend to be fairly cheap.
In practice, expats have to take out private health insurance during their stay in Thailand. There is no tax relief for private health insurance premiums in Thailand.
Thai healthcare system - overview
There is a socialised, comprehensive healthcare system, which provides free public health services at user point, subject to certain exceptions. It results from the Universal Health Care (UHC) reforms of 2002, before which government assistance was limited to means-tested healthcare benefits. Funding mostly comes from general tax revenue and social security contributions.
Strictly, entitlement to healthcare coverage is conditional on being:
The UHC tends to be less generous than the first two schemes. It is the residual, tax-financed healthcare coverage for Thai citizens.
Social Security Scheme
The Social Security Scheme is Thailand’s social insurance scheme for private sector employees, regardless of nationality. Its scope is limited to those currently and actually working in the formal sector (mandatory coverage), plus employees in the informal sector and the self-employed (voluntary coverage). In general, the contribution rate is 5%.
You should normally be signed up for the Social Security Scheme if you have been assigned for work in Thailand and been issued a work permit. If this is the case, social security contributions should be deducted from your monthly payroll and you should have been issued a medical card by the Social Security Office. You should carry your medical card with you at all times.
By being insured, your contributions count towards a variety of social security benefits, including sickness benefits, maternity benefits and invalidity benefits. Sickness benefits include sick pay and free medical treatment in the network of “registered hospitals”.
Medical attention outside of registered hospitals is not covered except for emergencies or accidents. In such cases, upfront payment at the unregistered hospital will be needed, and the reimbursement may be only partial.
If you cease to work, your insurance coverage should be extended for a further 6 months. Voluntary coverage is possible later on.
Foreign nationals not covered by the Social Security Scheme
The estimated 3 million foreign nationals resident in Thailand cannot avail themselves of the UHC scheme. Accordingly, they are excluded from healthcare coverage if they are not insured under the SSS.
This is in fact a genuine challenge from a public health perspective insofar as migrants are considerably more exposed to diseases. In practice, foreigners have to rely on private health insurance, out-of-pocket payments, or even hospital exemptions.
Many foreign nationals in Thailand prefer not to seek treatment at all unless they condition is already acute. Common reasons that have been reported so far include:
Thailand’s healthcare system is an evolving one. From a public policy standpoint, some of its biggest challenges in the future include:
Mosquito bite prevention
When you are going to Thailand, you must take the risk of mosquito bites very seriously. Do take all the necessary steps to avoid them.
Diseases that may result from mosquito bites include:
Vaccines do not exist for now, but you can think of taking tablets against Malaria.
Many countries provide updated travel information to their citizens, and this often includes health advice. You should regularly check the Foreign Office website of your home country to see if there are any specific steps you need to make. Alternatively, you can go to your local embassy in Thailand.
Sections in HEALTHCARE IN THAILAND:
We value input from our readers. If you spot an error on this page or have any suggestions, please let us know.
If you are considering moving to Thailand or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Thailand section including; details of immigration and visas, Thai forums, Thai event listings and service providers in Thailand.
From your safety to shopping, living in Thailand can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks. Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Thailand with relevant news and up-to-date information.
Working in Thailand can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Thailand, and general Thai culture of the labour market.
About | Useful Links | Global Media Partners | Media | Advertising And Sales | Banners And Widgets | Glossary | RSS | Privacy & Cookies | Terms And Conditions | Editorial Policy | Refer To A Friend | Newsletters | Contact | Site Map
Important Notice: Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited has taken reasonable care in sourcing and presenting the information contained on this site, but accepts no responsibility for any financial or other loss or damage that may result from its use. In particular, users of the site are advised to take appropriate professional advice before committing themselves to involvement in offshore jurisdictions, offshore trusts or offshore investments. © Wolters Kluwer TAA Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.
The Expat Briefing brand is owned and operated by Wolters Kluwer TAA Limited.