Public Thai Hospital Visit – VLOG 5

Why should you go to a private hospital if you get sick?

Well, sometimes you should and sometimes you shouldn’t bother. As I mention in the video, a friend had brain surgery in a public hospital – twice. In Ubon. And he came out quite well. Ubon’s Sapphasit hospital gets a lot of head injury cases, we thought he’d be fine.

Others report having had a bad experience with public hospitals. We stayed at the one in the video for a night or so – can’t remember how many days, but I think it must have been just 1-2 or we’d have left for another hospital we like about 200KM away.

Wifey recovered fine after this and we got on with life… Always go to the best hospital you can afford in Thailand. We do – but here we got caught with no time to spare, so had to stay.

Thailand Health Insurance for Expats?

I have been thinking about health insurance in Thailand a lot lately since we had our child. There are a couple things to think about – and one happened today in a Thai hospital in Thailand’s northeast.

Baby had an allergic reaction to an antibiotic the Thai nurse gave her. She blotched up red all over and her face swelled up. Doctor said the next step is the airway swells and she starts to wheeze – unable to get breath.

Hmm, that’s pretty scary. Before today I couldn’t see a reason to get health insurance in Thailand – now I do. Can you imagine if they have to intubate her and keep her alive for a few days or weeks? Seems like at any hospital that could get expensive – even in the northeast of Thailand (isaan).

On the other hand, a guy I knew in Ubon Ratchathani that had a motorbike accident one late night – a wicked crash. He needed a couple of brain surgeries and part of his skull was sewn into his abdominal cavity to keep it alive for months before replacing it. Total bill in Ubon? About 66,000 THB as I remember – but the numbers are cloudy since it was 5+ years ago. Not bad for 2+ weeks in the hospital, intensive care, and at least 2 brain surgeries (that I remember).

Thais have their 30 baht healthcare deal – they get treated in public hospitals for ridiculously low costs. They get pretty ridiculous level of care too. We’ve always gone to private hospitals when available, though we did find ourselves in a public hospital in Krabi – which we’ll NOT talk about. I would not recommend it for you – if you need something important. MAKE that drive to Phuket’s Bangkok hospital and pay 27 times what you would in Krabi, but get 6,000 times the better care.

Anyway – so now we’re considering health insurance for all of us. Thinking it will run about 60,000 for the year for me, wife and baby. Might throw grandma in there too if it’s not too crazy.

Anyone have an idea what that should run?

Day 2 Baby in Private Thailand Hospital

Well, the maintenance crew started banging the walls, ceiling, sanding, sawing, hammering all sorts of shit including our wall where baby FINALLY fell asleep.

Apparently they’re doing work on the whole floor above us. I’ll walk out later and see whether it’s loud in all the rooms.

The fine doctor came in this morning. She seemed to know what she was doing. Until I asked if they were going to do a blood pressure on our 15 month old – since none had been done in the 12 hours she’d been admitted.

The doctor said she could tell by looking at our daughter that it was OK because she was active and her face was red…

Well, the partial reason for both was that she was aggravated as all hell. Not to mention the allergic reaction to the antibiotic shot they gave via the IV line. Her face was red and swollen and she had blotches, bumps, pimple type red bumps all over her. She said, we usually don’t get a blood pressure for children her age because it’s too hard to do.

She left shortly after  – I didn’t say much. It made no sense to me – but, am I a doctor?

Two minutes later a nurse came in to give our sweetness a blood pressure check.

When she finished she told my wife – “It’s normal.”

Wow, wtf IS normal? I wonder… I wasn’t in the room to hear that… wish I was.

Oh – I have something to write about Thais and their kids in a minute. Lots of bad experiences lately. I’ll write something positive about Thais in a few days as something will inevitably pop up. Oh wait, my gwit diao moo soup was amazing today. Back with my soup gig and loving him man – he makes perfect soup. That’s something I love about Thailand and Thais – they can make some scrumptious food – agreed?

Baby Overnighted at the Hospital in Northeast Thailand

Baby came down with some food poisoning. There are many potential sources of food poisoning in Thailand and across the globe, and though about 4 people got it in the family here – another couple (me included) didn’t. I had the runs for a day – but that was the extent of mine.

It could have been the som tam we picked up from a streetside Thai vendor. It could have been the kow tom moo – soup that grandma made. It could have been poor hygiene when someone cleaned the dishes. It could have been someone didn’t wash their hands before preparing food for the rest of us.

Whatever it was – it caused baby to throw up a bunch of times – on us, in the house, and in a restaurant on their table and floor – a good projectile hurl that hit just about everything in front of her.

So – she couldn’t keep anything down. She’s about 15 months now. She kept down a total of 100ml of water today – and threw the rest up. Yesterday about 100ml of water and 60 ml of the soy milk formula she drinks, some rice and some banana. The day before – nothing at all stayed down.

So – today before we put her to sleep her urine was really yellow and her doody was yellow and wet like water. She didn’t drink her last bottle and refused water. We packed up our bags and hit the hospital. Unbelievably this hospital has WIFI and it works. It’s free. It’s a great connection. We’re on the 4th floor. It’s a private hospital – and for kids overnight in our little VIP room – it’s 900 THB per night, about $27 USD.

She has had half a bottle of IV, an antibiotics shot, and something to calm her down because she was just spastic over the IV in the top of her hand. She just threw up about 6 times after sleeping for an hour and getting 1/4 way through the IV bottle.

Oh – worth noting – the phlebotomist was EXCELLENT and hit the tiny, invisible vein, the first try – unbelievably good.

Anyway – the hospital room is clean, has air con, wifi, refrigerator, bed for parents, table with 2 chairs, TV, dresser with drawers, porch, outside sink – the windows have screens without holes. The walls aren’t dirty like you might find in a public Thai hospital.

Just overall – an awesome place.

Did I mention the 28 year old doctor in the emergency room? She’s smoking hot – and no wedding ring.

Hell no I’m not telling you what hospital! I’m saving her for my friend Dave if he ever makes it over to Thailand.

Hope your kids are well and you don’t have to experience this same ordeal in 2011.