Medical tourism is a relatively recent phenomenon whereby people from affluent countries--where medical costs are exorbitantly high—fly to countries where hospital bills are far cheaper yet with services, technology and amenities that are not very different from Western hospitals. While price may be the overriding reason for why many people now flock to Asian countries, it is also true that there are many other factors as well.  In Bangkok, for instance, there are a number of international hospitals which have attracted a fair share of the world’s medical tourists because of their cutting-edge technology, world-class facilities, competent specialists and that typical warm Asian service. The following is a general review of some of Bangkok’s international hospitals.


Bangkok International Hospital

One of the widely-recognized private hospitals in Thailand is Bangkok International Hospital or Bangkok Hospital.  It has received accreditation from US, European, Japanese and Australian Medical Boards for patient satisfaction.  It has been servicing a virtual culture pot of patients hailing from 140 countries, a testament to its multicultural service, part of which is its having an international team composed of translators into 30 different languages.


Bumrungrad Hospital

Right in the heart of Bangkok is Bumrungrad Hospital, the largest private hospital in Southeast Asia.  It caters to almost a million patients each year, with a third of these coming from 150 foreign countries.  It is manned by a team of 774 physicians, most of whom are trained internationally.  This hospital features an International Patients’ Service Center which provides a host of services to foreign patients such as interpreters, concierge service, airport transport, international insurance processing and embassy assistance.  The multifaceted service of this hospital makes it a center of excellence in specialty medicine and one of the globally-known hubs of medical tourism.


BNH or Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital

Established over a century ago by the British community in Thailand is Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital or simply BNH.   This hospital, though grand and old has kept up with the latest advances in medical healthcare.  With a century of existence, this international hospital is today a first-class medical institution, serving patients from over 70 countries and of every possible medical need.


Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital

Strategic location is one of the lures of Samiivej Srinakarin Hospital.  Only minutes away from Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi Airport and very near to the expressway which links Bangkok to Pattaya, this international hospital provides tertiary healthcare in the context of world-class quality and efficiency.  Distinctive features include the 24-hour Emergency Room equipped with state-of-the-art health crisis-management facilities, the first-ever private hospital for children, a 400-bed capacity housed in a 17-storey building and an ample, lush landscape to promote recovery.


Vibhavadi Hospital

Opened in 1986, this relatively new hospital has dramatically improved its services through the years to attain its current status as one of world’s medical tourism destinations.  Medical services which attract patient-tourists include Laparoscopic Surgery, LASIK surgery, the latest anti-aging and slimming surgeries, joint replacement and plastic surgery.  Additional services which give added value include an Alternative Medicine Center which provides acupuncture, Thai massage, beauty and fitness center and elderly care center.


Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital

Another hospital of choice among expatriates living in Thailand as well as tourists is Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital.  It boasts of a comprehensive array of medical services, ranging from tertiary healthcare to dermatological and cosmetic services.  State-of-the-art equipment include the latest 64-slice CT scan and digital imaging techniques which enable specialists to routinely perform such delicate surgeries as open heart and open liver surgeries.  Distinctive accolades received include being the first Thai hospital to be awarded by the World Health Organization as a Mother and Baby Friendly Hospital and being awarded the Prime Minister Award for Most Recognized Service in 2004.