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Special Report: Phuket hospitals facing huge losses from uninsured patients

209 posts in this topic

Why not make it compulsory for everyone that travels to Thailand or any other country that one must have Travel insurance for their duration of their Holiday stay,and foreigners living in other countries the government of that country should make the same  insurance possible  as for their own people instead of the Ripoff insurance that one has or can't pay because one can't get a decent Insurance in that country ,like Thailand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 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.

Nonsense. There are a lot of drunk foreign motorcyclists who had an accident here, which say the opposite. Your comment is biased and pushes all blame to the host country. Misery.

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3 minutes ago, blu said:

I am constantly embarrassed by the racist & inflamatory comments by ex pat subsribers to thia visa.  If it is so bad here then please just leave. 

 

I hear you with regard to embarrassment. I've read every post on this short thread at least twice  and there is nothing at all that can be called racist and because of that I'm embarrassed for my specie.

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25 minutes ago, realenglish1 said:

tourists to have travel health insurance

I thought just inexpensive travel insurance covered accident & health. 

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ID: 81   Posted (edited)

Interesting that there is no comment from the two big private hospitals and we know why. You can be hemorrhaging blood all over the place and they'll be trying to stick a pen in your hand. Hence the comment about the man being turned away.

 

They are more interested in milking the insurance companies, which in turn raises premiums and deters people from taking out insurance. Audit their charges, get them down to reasonable rates and reflect this in premiums- same thing happens all over the world though and it isn't going to change. If you get a free expat card from them and pay cash  prescription charges are 15% less and rooms about 50%- courtesy of inflated prices to the insurance companies.

 

For overseas visitors a lot of the problems lie in the small print-  for example, they may think they are insured for motorbike accidents but in a lot of cases they are not. This is when the likes of Vachira has to take a hit. Again this shows the part insurance companies play in the process- they are very good at taking money but very reluctant to pay it out and will use every trick in the book.

 

For some treatments both Vachira and Mission have been shown to be better than the two others (IIRC a birth at Mission is about 40k). I understand the German consultant at Vachira is excellent. 

Edited by Psimbo
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Every visitor should be charged for travel or health

insurance.  Perhaps 250B per week..to be paid with

their entry visa.  Part of the problem solved.  

 

 

All retirees must give peoof of health insurance or, 

in order to get an O or O-A Visa for retirement they

should be required to put an additional B800,000 in

an account specifically for hospitalization.  If you

don' have the required B65K per month you would

need to have 1.6M in accounts to retire to Thailand.

 

This should help with the outstanding bills from

foreigners.  It should also help send a lot of the

low class riff-raff to other SE Coumtries making 

Thailand a nicer place to retire.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, geriatrickid said:

Do  the math,  it's a higher number. Let's just  deal with the 4.3 million baht from last year.

The money had to come from somewhere and it was the general operating budget. The deadbeat patients inflict harm on others and are a threat to public safety.

 

Vachira Phuket Hospital is a 503 bed general hospital  providing medical care to those Thais who are unable to afford the higher end pay private hospitals. Vachira already operates on a  shoestring budget  struggling to serve a growing population with diverse and complex needs. The patients are typically the poor, and economically marginalized. They are the elderly, the low paid workers and anyone else who has limited financial means.  When  deadbeat patients fail to pay, the money has to come from somewhere and that means vulnerable sick Thais. Some poor kid is denied a non critical surgery, or an  old granny's thyroid cancer goes undiagnosed because she can't access the necessary tests.

 

The hospital has shortages of specialized  physicians and other technical specialists because the hospital cannot pay their salaries. The hospital cannot use  some tests and modern equipment to treat some patients because it does not have the funds to  pay for it. This is what happens when people do not pay their bills.

 

Where did you come up with 3 million? Try a number of legal foreign residents at less than 500,000. There may be many more, but those are illegal undocumented people like  Myanmar and Cambodian quasi slave labour.  Of the legal residents, a majority still avail themselves of their homeland's health services.

 

You are wrong when you state that people over the age of 70 who have pre-existing conditions are unable to buy health insurance in Thailand. it is available, but these people  do not accept the premium, nor the conditions of coverage.  One can obtain coverage if one   isn't greedy and and uses common sense. The way to do this is;

1. Consider the use of a large deductible or retention.

2. Accept the fact that  no insurer is going to cover  cancer if one is undergoing treatment or had a cancer in remission. Don't expect an insurer to cover a heart attack in someone who has had one already.

3. Understand that an insurance policy is a risk transfer contract where one party purchases the risk of the other for a price. If the  person trying to offload the risk thinks the insurer is charging too much, then fine, the person can keep his risk.

 

Uninsured western patients in Thailand have typically been people who should not have been in Thailand, or who have lived a hand to mouth existence..  If you want to live in a country like Thailand, you need to be able to accept the costs that go along with it. If you cannot, go home and live in a sheltered society.

 

 

 

Congratulations you have hit the nail on the head there are too many expats living here who believe Thailand owes them a living and constantly complain about anything and everything.

We are here as guests and if you don't like the system the answer is simple go back to your own country where you can enjoy the better standard of living possibly including free medical treatment.

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20 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 ,you say in GB hospitals are free for tourists...??? hey I dont think so   ... off what i heard in television and read in various newspapers over the last ten years paints a complete different picture...yes the GB health service was among one of the best in the world where everybody would receive free treatment tourists and locals alike.....but these days are long , very long gone, today their system over there seems to be so lousy even locals have to travel to Germany to do certain operations cause only the very very rich will be prefered cause they pay cash the rest is almost as worst off than in a third world country....correct me if i am wrong....

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20 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.

Yes they make trillions on tourism but that is incoming. That is the only figure that matters. They hate like the devil to part with it. 

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14 minutes ago, smedly said:

sorry but I do blame Thais for that, he should never have been allowed to hire the bike in the first place, go to the UK (were laws are enforced) and try to hire a big motorbike - unless you have a proper licence and take out insurance you have no mission because you would be breaking the law and even then try riding said motorbike without a helmet plastered out of your head speeding around the city center like a lunatic and you will end up in jail

 

I 100% do blame Thailand

 

Every few months I pop down to Penang (from Samui) and am always struck by the fact that everyone is wearing a helmet. It comes across as being outside the norm I guess? I remember when my sister was over a couple of years back and we were walking down the road. Whoa.... she said, and told me to look over. All I saw (being close to home) was the usual rows of coconuts . There were also macaques running up and down but I didn't even see that because it is usual. What I mean to point out is the word 'usual' or 'norm' and how someone can be alerted to the absence of something and not just the introduction of something. There was, in effect, an absence of people riding around with no helmets which is the norm for me but the addition was that the law regarding wearing one is upheld. I'm not sure I an blame Thailand but I am 100% confident I can say they are complicit. So lets move on from here and look into what that means.....

 

Definition of Hypocrite



 

1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion

 

2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings

 

 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrite

 

Shall we push even further back and find the cause for the hypocrisy? I'm not going into this because I might get article 44'd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, geriatrickid said:

Do  the math,  it's a higher number. Let's just  deal with the 4.3 million baht from last year.

The money had to come from somewhere and it was the general operating budget. The deadbeat patients inflict harm on others and are a threat to public safety.

 

Vachira Phuket Hospital is a 503 bed general hospital  providing medical care to those Thais who are unable to afford the higher end pay private hospitals. Vachira already operates on a  shoestring budget  struggling to serve a growing population with diverse and complex needs. The patients are typically the poor, and economically marginalized. They are the elderly, the low paid workers and anyone else who has limited financial means.  When  deadbeat patients fail to pay, the money has to come from somewhere and that means vulnerable sick Thais. Some poor kid is denied a non critical surgery, or an  old granny's thyroid cancer goes undiagnosed because she can't access the necessary tests.

 

The hospital has shortages of specialized  physicians and other technical specialists because the hospital cannot pay their salaries. The hospital cannot use  some tests and modern equipment to treat some patients because it does not have the funds to  pay for it. This is what happens when people do not pay their bills.

 

Where did you come up with 3 million? Try a number of legal foreign residents at less than 500,000. There may be many more, but those are illegal undocumented people like  Myanmar and Cambodian quasi slave labour.  Of the legal residents, a majority still avail themselves of their homeland's health services.

 

You are wrong when you state that people over the age of 70 who have pre-existing conditions are unable to buy health insurance in Thailand. it is available, but these people  do not accept the premium, nor the conditions of coverage.  One can obtain coverage if one   isn't greedy and and uses common sense. The way to do this is;

1. Consider the use of a large deductible or retention.

2. Accept the fact that  no insurer is going to cover  cancer if one is undergoing treatment or had a cancer in remission. Don't expect an insurer to cover a heart attack in someone who has had one already.

3. Understand that an insurance policy is a risk transfer contract where one party purchases the risk of the other for a price. If the  person trying to offload the risk thinks the insurer is charging too much, then fine, the person can keep his risk.

 

Uninsured western patients in Thailand have typically been people who should not have been in Thailand, or who have lived a hand to mouth existence..  If you want to live in a country like Thailand, you need to be able to accept the costs that go along with it. If you cannot, go home and live in a sheltered society.

 

 

 

A long read with make sense parts. It shows the other side of the coin. Thailand makes a ton of money on tourists who come to have a risk free holiday. To have this kind of income you have to have some outlay it is not a one way street. Its the human nature of things. Some of the infrastructure which provides the entertainment is marginal in quality and maintenance unbeknownst to the unwary traveler. Yes in an ideal world travelers should/would have medical insurance but then we do not live in an ideal world as we have shown by our poor choice in politicians among other poor choices. It is what it is no superfluous comments will ever change it. We can beat this horse to death till only the hooves are left but nothing will change till governments take their gaze off of non beneficial items like military expenditures and apply the monies in the right direction.

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5 minutes ago, notmyself said:

 

Every few months I pop down to Penang (from Samui) and am always struck by the fact that everyone is wearing a helmet. It comes across as being outside the norm I guess? I remember when my sister was over a couple of years back and we were walking down the road. Whoa.... she said, and told me to look over. All I saw (being close to home) was the usual rows of coconuts . There were also macaques running up and down but I didn't even see that because it is usual. What I mean to point out is the word 'usual' or 'norm' and how someone can be alerted to the absence of something and not just the introduction of something. There was, in effect, an absence of people riding around with no helmets which is the norm for me but the addition was that the law regarding wearing one is upheld. I'm not sure I an blame Thailand but I am 100% confident I can say they are complicit. So lets move on from here and look into what that means.....

 

 

 

 

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypocrite

 

Shall we push even further back and find the cause for the hypocrisy? I'm not going into this because I might get article 44'd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dunno know 'bout anyfink,  but I enjoy a fair bit of ding-dong..keeps the ticker in good health,would not get that back at 'ome

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17 minutes ago, free123 said:

so ,you say in GB hospitals are free for tourists...??? hey I dont think so   ... off what i heard in television and read in various newspapers over the last ten years paints a complete different picture...yes the GB health service was among one of the best in the world where everybody would receive free treatment tourists and locals alike.....but these days are long , very long gone, today their system over there seems to be so lousy even locals have to travel to Germany to do certain operations cause only the very very rich will be prefered cause they pay cash the rest is almost as worst off than in a third world country....correct me if i am wrong....

 

I'll give it a crack.

 

My Dear Sir, what are you on about. If anyone manages to make it to UK hospital in a state of disrepair then they are treated. Are you American? 

 

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2 minutes ago, Time Traveller said:

ore fake news. OR are we seriously led to believe that $123,000 in unpaid bills for the entire year is a HUGE loss for a hospital ?. Because anyone that has run a business with more than a handful of staff knows that that is the cost of running a business. Some people don't pay......get over it.

The Thai media (and some wierdo posters on this forum) seem completely focused on trying to blame foreigners for everything negative that happens in this country. Even this meaningless amount is blown way out of proportion. 

 

But before the TV wierdos going pointing out the fact that these people got treatment for free, I'd like to hear how much the same hospital got in revenue from the foreign patients it did treat ? 

hmm excellent point. 

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1 hour ago, ujayujay said:

Its a Fact: Many Westerner Expats and Tourists are that naiv to think, it is not necessary to have a Insurance. Think: Whats about your Homecountry; is this common? It is an insolence to demand that thailand pay for uninsured foreign patients, because the insurance costs are too high for some of those. what a silly argument.

You, like most other posters in this thread, have conveniently overlooked the nationalities most likely to have caused the subject problem, in fact in the case of Phuket it is clear that lowly paid workers from Myanmar are probably the cause. Soooo, when you write, "It is an insolence to demand that thailand pay for uninsured foreign patients, because the insurance costs are too high for some of those. what a silly argument", does that include the Burmese, or are you being selective with respect to insolent nationalities!

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4 hours ago, henry15 said:

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.

The individual you quote here wouldn't be covered by his travel insurance even if sober and wearing a helmet. Most policies exclude motorcycles.

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1 hour ago, digger70 said:

Why not make it compulsory for everyone that travels to Thailand or any other country that one must have Travel insurance for their duration of their Holiday stay,and foreigners living in other countries the government of that country should make the same  insurance possible  as for their own people instead of the Ripoff insurance that one has or can't pay because one can't get a decent Insurance in that country ,like Thailand.

 

Why?

1. Because being forced to pay for something you don't want is extortion.

2. Because insurers exist only to make a profit,

3. Because when everyone is forced to pay for something, then guess what ? The price of that thing will go through the roof as the suppliers raise prices.

4. Because hospitals will know that their patients are not paying the bill and then they can raise their hospital bills because insurers will pick up the bill and just raise their premiums to cover the rising healthcare prices..

 

Anyone who lived in America during the Obamacare experiment knows all of these things.  

 

There is only one way to keep health care prices affordable AND stop patients walking out without paying. It's to make sure every patient pays upfront.

Sorry, as heartless as that sounds, you are either in business to make a profit or in business to help people. You can't mix up the 2  and then complain when both of them don't work out.  

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4 minutes ago, Time Traveller said:

Why?

1. Because being forced to pay for something you don't want is extortion.

2. Because insurers exist only to make a profit,

3. Because when everyone is forced to pay for something, then guess what ? The price of that thing will go through the roof as the suppliers raise prices.

4. Because hospitals will know that their patients are not paying the bill and then they can raise their hospital bills because insurers will pick up the bill and just raise their premiums to cover the rising healthcare prices..

 

Anyone who lived in America during the Obamacare experiment knows all of these things.  

 

There is only one way to keep health care prices affordable AND stop patients walking out without paying. It's to make sure every patient pays upfront.

Sorry, as heartless as that sounds, you are either in business to make a profit or in business to help people. You can't mix up the 2  and then complain when both of them don't work out.  

The hospital in question is not a private one, it's a governement hospital. Does that change your picture?

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Every business I have ever worked in has bad debt that they have to provision for and eventually 'eat'.  It's so pervasive it's effectively built into the price of goods (indirectly).  Is it infuriating?  Sure it is. There are deadbeats everywhere.  Thailand is a magnet for them (talking about foreigners here).  Want to end bad debt, stop taking on new customers.  Don't like that option (or can't in the case of life and death)?  Then stop complaining and focus on your paying customers.

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6 minutes ago, teddog said:

Dunno know 'bout anyfink,  but I enjoy a fair bit of ding-dong..keeps the ticker in good health,would not get that back at 'ome

I hear you mate.

 

6 minutes ago, Time Traveller said:

 

1. Because being forced to pay for something you don't want is extortion.

  

 

Another word for taxation.... You wouldn't happen to be a Republican by any chance?  

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4 minutes ago, chilli42 said:

Every business I have ever worked in has bad debt that they have to provision for and eventually 'eat'.  It's so pervasive it's effectively built into the price of goods (indirectly).  Is it infuriating?

 

That would depend on the data. I worked for myself and would include relative risk in the price.

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Health care is a human right everywhere and is so declared under the UN declaration. Thailand wants hug amounts of tourists and with that comes the risk that as a country you have to take care of them when they become ill. If you don't want to- then add on a small fee to the Visa which can be used in a pool to cover medical care. That fee will generate a huge amount of money- much more than they claim they are losing.

At the same time anyone living in Thailand as a retiree and getting a pension should automatically be covered by their countries medicare system but we know that the countries refuse to. Thailand should simply send the home country medicare the bill and demand payment or allow foreigners to buy into Thailand's Social Security system.

 

There are many ways to solve this issue- people in the World move from country to country. A UN agreement on medical reimbursement could also solve the problem.

Instead of hospitals complaining- why don't they become proactive and come up with some innovative solutions that do not put patients at risk.

 

Until profit is completely taken out of the Worldwide medical system and greed is allowed to rule- this issue will never be solved- yet several solutions do exist.

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