Asia's first JCI accreditation went to a hospital in Bangkok; fifty-four Thai hospitals, departments and ambulatory clinics are now JCI accredited, more than any other nation in the region.
Thailand's huge medical calling card is Bangkok's venerated, JCI-accredited Bumrungrad International Hospital, covering a million-square-foot complex in downtown Bangkok. More than 900 full-time and consulting physicians representing every imaginable specialty and subspecialty practice there-nearly 300 are US board certified.
Bumrungrad has set the pace for both the quality and quantity of contemporary international healthcare throughout Asia and the world. Bumrungrad's large presence is not without its competition, and the equally impressive Dusit Medical Group owns and operates a large network of hospitals throughout Thailand, including Bangkok International Hospital, Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Bangkok General Hospital, and Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital.
Thailand offers the medical traveler far more than the transgender procedures that often occupy the media limelight. Specialties include cosmetic surgery, orthopedics, cardiology, IVF/reproductive medicine, spine surgery, and dentistry. Despite rising standards of living, Thailand remains one of the world's best values, with cost savings on medical procedures ranging from 40-60 percent over out-of-pocket fees found in US, EU, and Japan.
Thailand's world-renown spas and wellness resorts, often set in breathtaking coastal surroundings, make this remarkable land even more appealing to the health traveler, particularly in a world now more conscious of preventable disease and alternative treatment strategies. Medical spas such as the S-Spa in Bangkok and Chiva-Som in Hua Hin have led the world in combining relaxation with clinical procedures under medical supervision.
Although not Thailand's native tongue, English is becoming more widely spoken in Thai cities and resort centers, and taught as a second language in Thai schools. While extremes of wealth and poverty can be readily witnessed, health travelers may feel more comfortable in the welcoming Thai culture than in India or South Africa.