An Insider’s Guide to the Thai Hospital

To say that healthcare in Thailand is quite different from what people might be used to may be an understatement. Those coming from the US or other countries will experience a health system that is almost alien, even compared to the rest of Southeast Asia. The language barrier will certainly be a shock to some, but many people will find that the Thai healthcare are some of the bests in the world. Once you arrive, you may be perplexed as to where you should change. What is the status of my coverage? How long is each visit? A hospital stay is never easy, especially in a foreign hospital with a different culture and way of doing things. These guidelines will help you navigate a Thai hospital.

What to take with you?

Make a list of what you need to bring before you leave. Essentials include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a change of clothing. If you need medical attention right away, you can count on getting it. Patients who must stay in the hospital longer may be given sleeping pills, antacids, or painkillers. There are conveniences like toiletries, combs, or deodorant in some hospitals. When you get there, you’ll get a hospital gown, a bedsheet, a pillow, and a blanket.

Knowing where to find what you need

MED stands for MEDICINE DEPARTMENT (ayurakam), cares for patients treated with medications for acute or chronic illnesses.

OB-GYN stands for OBSTETRICS GYNECOLOGY DEPARTMENT (phanaek sut nariwetchakam), caring for women from reproductive age until menopause.

OPD stands for OUTPATIENT DEPARTMENT (phanaek phu puai nok), taking care of patients who come to check for symptoms, receive treatment, and take medication home without hospitalization.

ER stands for EMERGENCY ROOM (phanaek chukchoen lae ubatti het), taking care of emergency patients from various accidents or symptoms of disease that require urgent treatment.

ICU stands for INTENSIVE CARE UNIT (phanaek phu puai wikrit), caring for intensive care patients or patients who require special care 24 hours a day.

IPD stands for INPATIENT DEPARTMENT (phanaek phu puai nai), caring for patients who need to be hospitalized.

Tips for making your stay at the hospital more comfortable

  • Bring a bag with your essentials.
  • This includes your phone, your wallet, and your insurance card (if you have it). If you have children, bring their essential items with you as well.
  • When deciding where to stay, consider your needs and what you feel is most important to you.
  • Always bring: Your I.D., social security card, immunization records, any other required documents


The healthcare system in Thailand may seem daunting to residents of countries like the United States. The language barrier is only one aspect that can be challenging. It is also a time-consuming process to get an appointment with a doctor or to get a prescription filled. This article is designed to help you understand the healthcare system in Thailand and make the most of it when you need it. Whether you are visiting Thailand as a tourist or relocating, these tips will help you feel comfortable and at home in the hospital. With medical care policy from Rabbit Care for expat health in Thailand, you can be prepared to obtain protection in the event that you require treatment at the hospital without experiencing any anxiety.