Elderly healthcare in Thailand

elderly healthcare
Updated 2022-05-10 09:24

Thailand is one of the world's most popular retirement destinations. There are a number of reasons for that: from the country's favorable climate and stunning scenery to the friendly cot of living.

If you are thinking about retiring in Thailand, there are several things you will need to consider. The availability and cost of healthcare should definitely be one of the things you look into before making the move.

In this article, we will share with you a quick overview of what the healthcare options for the elderly look like in Thailand.

Retiring in Thailand: benefits

One of the main benefits of retiring in Thailand is that this country has something for everyone. If you are looking for the hustle and bustle, you will love the busy and always moving Bangkok. If you want the quiet and the jungle, you will probably settle in Chiang Mai. Can't see your life without an everyday swim? Then explore the province of Krabi, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

The cost of living is another favorable factor. Life in Thailand is up to 40% cheaper compared to life in the United States. And most expats agree that you can live here quite comfortably on a monthly budget of $1,500 and even lower if you live in a smaller city.

Thailand also offers those willing to retire here an easy way to stay in the country legally for the long term - via the retirement visa. The retirement visa allows you to stay in Thailand for up to one year.

Retiring in Thailand: healthcare

Overall, Thailand has a pretty solid healthcare system with over 900 state hospitals, close to 400 private hospitals, and over 25,000 private clinics.

Thanks to the abundance of healthcare establishments, most Thai nationals as well as expats have access to quality healthcare. In fact, the average life expectancy in the country is 77 years.

Keep in mind, however, that if you choose to live in one of the rural areas in the country, access to healthcare may be more complicated.

If you have a Thai retirement visa or a work permit, you are eligible for free Thai healthcare. The quality of free healthcare in Thailand is quite high and you will see a lot of doctors splitting their time between working at a state hospital and a private clinic. The main downside of being treated at a public hospital is the long waiting times.

For this reason, most expats do prefer to go with private healthcare.

Recently, the Health Ministry of Thailand has introduced a new policy. Under it, foreigners aged over 70 living in Thailand on the one-year non-immigrant O-A visas have access to health insurance with a minimum of THB 3 million coverage ($100,000). This is a notable increase from THB 40,000 requirement for outpatient care and THB 400,000 for inpatient care coverage in place before the new law. The initiative is meant to attract expats with high purchasing power to stay in the country long-term.

Care facilities for the elderly in Thailand

Compared to lost western countries, Thailand doesn't have many dedicated elder care facilities.

This is, in part, due to the difference in traditions. In Thailand, older family members typically stay at home and are taken care of by their children.

However, you will still be able to find long-term elderly care facilities in Thailand that have been created specifically for the older population. The quality of these facilities is usually quite high and a lot of them look like five-star hotels or resorts.

Good to know: Thailand has a tropical climate. This means that the temperatures get quite high (up to 30 ) until October. Then, there is the monsoon season, during which the temperatures remain high and there is heavy rainfall. If you are strongly affected by the weather, it's important to keep this in mind when considering your move.

In short, if you are looking for a place to retire, Thailand can be the perfect destination you are looking for.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.