Compass Living's concierge living services for three months in
Saigon, Vietnam brought us back to Asia after eight years of running
around in Central America. Once on this side of the globe, you may
as well stay awhile so we applied for and received a two month
tourist visa for Thailand with a one month extension. The visa cost
was $45.00 USD ONLY for each of us at the Thai Embassy in Saigon.
If you do not already
know, Thailand is currently under a military coup, number 18 in the last eighty
years depending on how you count. For us travelers, this is great news as the
coup keeps many tourists away and the streets, restaurants and hotels are quiet.
Yes, but are you
Personal safety in a
foreign country is always a concern, heck, it�s a concern in the US, but in our
opinion Thailand is one of the safer places to be at the moment.
We see the military
stationed at large plazas and gathering places enforcing calm, and the locals
seem generally happy that the military have settled things down. The curfew has
been lifted, and life is going on as normal just like before the coup.
Mai Ram Hospital
Taking advantage of
The real reason we are
here, besides re-connecting with old friends and hanging out in a pleasing
cultural city is for medical tourism. Our annual checkups are long overdue and
there is not a better place on the planet to get this done than here in
Thailand. A full physical with blood work, chest x-ray, EKG and female exam runs
$100.00. It�s all done in a matter of two days and was begun as a walk-in
Practitioner, English-speaking Dr. Tawachai, M.D., of Loh Kroh Clinic wrote us
prescriptions for colonoscopies, an endoscopy, and in Akaisha�s case, a
Wanting to know ahead of
time how much a mammogram would cost, we looked up on Chiangmai Ram Hospital�s
website and utilized their contact form. They wrote us back via email within
24 hours with a price of 3,000THB or $93USD. This price also included a
sonogram, and Akaisha was given her films to take to Dr. Tawachai for reading.
With the 20% senior discount, she paid $83USD. By the way, Akaisha was able to
walk in to the hospital without an appointment and was given both the mammogram
and the sonogram that same morning.
Setting up the endoscopy and the
colonoscopy was done at the same time as arranging for the mammogram.
After the mammogram and sonogram were completed, Akaisha was escorted to
the English-speaking Gastroenterologist, Dr. Yossombat, M.D., who
explained the process of colonoscopy and endoscopy and had her choose
when she would like to have it done. Since this was a Monday when
Akaisha walked into the hospital, she decided she would go through the
procedure on Wednesday. This would allow her to do her prep the next day
on Tuesday, and arrive on Wednesday morning ready to go.
The cost of the endoscopy,
colonoscopy, prep medicine, anesthetic, doctor�s fees, medical supplies,
operating room and recovery room � again along with her 20% senior
discount � came to 20,626THB or $639USD.
I was there to greet
Akaisha when she got out of the recovery room, and together we saw Dr. Yossombat
who gave her the results of her tests. Afterwards, we were escorted to the
cashier�s office where we took a number and waited for our papers to be
processed in order to pay. Within ten minutes our number was called and we paid
in cash. Arriving at 10:30 a.m. that morning, we were ready to leave the
hospital with everything completed by 2 p.m.
Results in hand, we
hopped into a songthiew (a public transport vehicle) and within six minutes, we
were back at our hotel and were ready for lunch.
It really does not get
any more convenient than this.