Medical Services

More than Thailand's main health-care hub, Bangkok has become a major destination for medical tourism, with patients flying in for treatment from all over the world. In addition to three university research hospitals, the city is home to an ever-expanding number of public and private hospitals and hundreds of private medical clinics. Bumrungrad International, widely considered the best hospital in the country, despite being a bit of a factory, has US accreditation and feels more like a hotel than a hospital; rooms have free wi-fi internet, equipment is the latest available and in the 'lobby' you'll find Starbucks and, erm, McDonalds - would you like a thick shake with that bypass?

Wliether your stay is to recover from a nasty 'Thai tattoo' (burned inner right calf after a motorcycle mishap), for corrective surgery you couldn't afford or wait for at home, or for something more cosmetic - new nose, lips, breasts, Adam's apple removal - the following hospitals should be able to help. Of course, it's worth checking the websites and searching around online for feedback before booking yourself in for anything. It's worth remembering that Thai hospitals are notorious for over-prescribing drugs and overcharging for them at their own dispensaries. Doctors will often speak English, but if you need another language contact your embassy for advice (p258).

Bangkok's better private hospitals include:

Bangkok Christian Hospital (Map pp108-9; fa) 0 2235

1000-07; www.bkkchristianhosp.th.com; 124 Th Silom; (f)Saladaeng)

Bangkok Hospital (Map pp124-5; @ 0 2310 3000; www.bangkokhospital.com; 2 Soi 47, Th Phetburi Tat Mai, Bangkapi)

BNH Hospital (Map p112; @ 0 2686 2700; www.bnh hospital.com; 9 Th Convent; (SJSaladaeng; @ Silom) Bumrungrad International (Map pp118—19; §§ 0 2667 1000; www.bumrungrad.com; 33 Soi 3, Th Sukhumvit; (I) Nana orPloenchit)

Phyathai Hospital 1 (Map pp52-3; @ 0 2640 1111; www.phyathai.com; 364/1 Th Si Ayuthaya; 191 Victory Monument)

Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital (Map ppl 18—19; s 0

2711 8000; www.samitivej.co.th; 133 Soi 49, Th Sukhumvit; (9) Phrom Phong)

All these hospitals have substantial oph-thalmological treatment facilities. The best eye specialist in the city is Rutnin Eye Hospital (Map ppl 18—19; 0 0 2639 3399;www.rutnin.com;80/1 Soi Asoke; Th Sukhumvit; (9) Asoke; IM) Sukhumvit).

Medical spas mixing alternative therapies, massage and detoxification have taken 'the cure' a step further. See p196 for recommendations.

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