Phuket Poll: Is compulsory health insurance for tourists worth it?

PHUKET: Stories of fundraisers to cover the medical costs of friends and loved ones are not strangers to Phuket’s news pages. Dozens of stories a year roll in, and many more remain undocumented, about those travelling through The Kingdom who succumb to unfortunate circumstances and rack up enormous medical bills as doctors fight to save them.

Many of these bills remain unpaid costing the country more than 200 million baht annually. Others are only paid after family and friends band together to raise the necessary funds to cover hospital costs.

The financial burden on the state in providing medical care to uninsured tourists has been a growing concern.

Public Health Minister Pradit Sintavanarong’s recent announcement that related agencies were discussing a plan to charge tourists a separate fee for entering the country has sparked much controversy.

The plan being discussed proposes charging tourists up to 500 baht for a three- to 30-day stay, and 30 baht for stays of less than three days (story here).

Mr Pradit said once a conclusion was drawn, it will be proposed to the Cabinet.

In our latest online readers’ poll, the Phuket Gazette asks: What is the best insurance solution for foreigners entering Thailand?

Options available in the poll are:

1) The proposed 500-baht compulsory insurance plan for all foreign tourists

2) Some form of compulsory insurance, but not the proposed 500-baht insurance plan

3) A 500-baht optional insurance plan supported by the government

4) None, there is no need to force foreigners to have compulsory insurance for entering Thailand

To have your say in this poll, click here.

If you have already voted and want to check the latest results, click here.

Have an idea for a poll? Contact us with your suggestions at

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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