webfact

Special Report: Phuket hospitals facing huge losses from uninsured patients

209 posts in this topic

Special Report: Phuket hospitals facing huge losses from uninsured patients

Phuket Gazette

 

pkt3.jpeg

Last year, Vachira Phuket Hospital wrote off 4.3 million baht of unpaid bills incurred by uninsured foreign patients, with the total amount over nine years being 24 million baht. Photo: Gazette file

 

PHUKET: -- There is no lack of evidence about the alarming number of tourist deaths in the 'Land of Smiles'. According to the ‘Bureau of Prevention and Assistance in Tourist Fraud’, there was a whopping 54 per cent increase in tourist deaths in 2015 as compared to 2014. This figure only counts tourists. The actual number including expats is likely higher, as can be seen in the statistics provided by the Farang Deaths project. 

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimated that there were 109 deaths of Australians alone in Thailand between July 2014 and June 2015. Given the likelihood that a foreigner might be injured in Phuket, clear protocols on uninsured foreign patients are surprisingly missing.

According to Methavee Maneesri of Vachira Phuket Hospital, when foreign patients are unable to pay their bills, the hospital has to absorb the expenses. Last year alone, the hospital wrote off 4.3 million baht of unpaid bills incurred by foreign patients. Over the last nine years, Vachira Phuket Hospital says it has written off more than 24 million baht in such losses. 

“Due to medical ethics, we do not pick and choose patients before we initiate life-saving treatment. The questions of payment and insurance coverage are always secondary to saving patients’ lives,” said Ms Methavee. However, patients with non-life-threatening conditions will be asked to show proper insurance coverage or make an adequate deposit before treatment is administered. 

 

Full story: http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Special-Report-Phuket-hospitals-facing-huge-losses/66485?desktopversion

 
pgazette_logo.jpg
-- © Copyright Phuket Gazette 2017-04-18

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 6   Posted (edited)

57 minutes ago, hakancnx said:

And also who is not paying. Is it migrant workers, expats or tourists?

do they have a way to tell if someone is a tourist?

isn't it like figuring out if someone is a student?

 

or is or is not a "foreign" investor ???

 

not that I know of.

Edited by maewang99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yeah, it's relatively de minimis an amount.... 

 

but the hospitals are also increasingly in trouble.. so it's now a bigger issue and going forward doesn't get better at all very probably.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, maewang99 said:

yeah, it's relatively de minimis an amount.... 

 

but the hospitals are also increasingly in trouble.. so it's now a bigger issue and going forward doesn't get better at all very probably.

 

Indeed, I read that nineteen governement hospitals in Thailand, some quite large, are broke hence this doesn't improve the picture.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there was a whopping 54 per cent increase in tourist deaths in 2015

 

Only in this neck of the woods, it does not happen in L/C/V, death rate here higher than any other country (wars apart) by the looks of things.

 

A country in the grips of crime and watch it get worse

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vachira should get reimbursed from the Taxi and Tuk Tuk cartel, as they are highly overcharging every visitor using their "services"

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The big wigs of Phuket should indepedent take care about this subject. They generate more per day by the tourists and spend not less then this sum for a MiaNoi car.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, helloagain said:

4.3 m baht is not a huge loss. What is their OVERALL PROFIT. and why are their prices sky high when everything is cheaper than england.......land hospital sits on. Staff wages are cheaper etc etc etc. And when its time to pay you are asked if you have insurance. If you do have then the price goes way up which makes insurance policies too expensive to buy.....catch 22. Hospitals stop ripping people off should be the headline news. Hospitals you really do extract the urine

Vachira is no private hospital and has for sure no sky high prices!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following article states there is over 300,000 migrant workers in Phuket, half of whom have no medical insurance and cannot/do not pay their bills - the bill for treating migrant workers by the three main governement hospitals in 2016 was a whopping 94 million baht. A write off of 2.7 million baht per year is paltry  when you consider those numbers: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30305745

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ID: 23   Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, smedly said:

This country makes a huge amount of money from tourists, it is a vital part of GDP and has been the case for decades, the problem is that there are no safety standards or at least they are not enforced making Thailand (no matter how much they claim otherwise) and extremely dangerous place to holiday.

 

The costs quoted in the OP are not only tiny but are very likely exaggerated, when you consider the actual cost in terms of labour and materials without profit it is no where near what they are quoting.

 

Yes people should have insurance when they go on holiday but equally there is a duty of care to keep visitors safe when they visit Thailand, when they are injured through no fault of their own then Thailand should be willing to step up and compensate. 

 

They have gotten away with this for far too long, they have had decades to improve things but instead stuffed the money in their greedy pockets showing no consideration to improve their health and safety.........and yes I for once agree in this instance of that commonly used Thai phrase - well if they hadn't come to Thailand it wouldn't have happened so it must be their fault, might be time for people to rethink their holiday destinations.

 

If a Thai goes to the UK on holiday they will be treated in hospital like everyone else, the difference being that the likelihood of something happening to them is vastly different.

 

 

So a few million here and there .................so what, you are making trillions in tourism.

So if some drunk idiot on a motorbike who even don't wear an helmet, has an accident, he should not  have to pay for his medical bills.

Edited by henry15
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, simoh1490 said:

Sensible for tourists of course - but what would you suggest for the nearly 3 million resident expats who already live here, many of whom have lived here for ten years or more, are over the 70, have pre-existing conditions and are unable to buy health insurance in Thailand.

How very true.  Even the airlines won't insure you for travel only,  once you are 75.

I've been zapped twice through faulty electrical wiring, wrecked a pair of expensive glasses on a Chiang Mai footpath pothole, gave up the m/bike 2 years ago.    It's never boring!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

BANGKOK 27 April 2017 02:39
Sponsors