PHUKET: My daughter, now 7 months old, was born in Bangkok. And even though several months have passed since that life changing event, I clearly remember every minute of that day. But what lead to it I’d be happy to forget.
The pain of choosing the right hospital, the perfect doctor we could trust. I was spoiled for choice.
Bangkok has dozens of hospitals, many luring with fashionable interior design and English speaking staff but repelling with high prices. Others are more affordable but the conditions and the language barrier make them a less attractive choice.
How about Phuket? If you are an expatriate living on the island and you are planning to start a family here, knowing where to get affordable and good-quality medical care is the key to getting the most out of this amazing experience.
This week, the Phuket Gazette takes a look at the three most popular hospitals on the island to help you make the righ choice.
There were 818,901 children born in Thailand in 2012. Out of this number 9,087 will one day be able to say “I was born in Phuket,” 4,719 boys and 4,368 girls. Each of the maternity wards of the two biggest private hospitals on the island – Bangkok Hospital Phuket and Phuket International Hospital – welcomes around 50 children into this world every month.
While most of the children born in Bangkok Hospital are Thai (around 85 per cent of them), the numbers in Phuket International Hospital are quite different – 40 out of 50 babies born there every month are foreign, half of them Russian. But all this is just a drop in the ocean compared to the capacity of the maternity ward of Phuket’s biggest public hospital. With 400 babies delivered each month, the doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital have their hands full. Interestingly, 80 of these babies are Burmese.
The numbers become more understandable once we consider the prices of birth packages at these three hospitals.
The Vachira Hospital is the choice for the lower income families with prices of natural birth package of just 6,000 baht and cesarean section package for 13,000 baht. The price includes two or three nights stay in a shared room, three vaccines for the baby and doctor’s fees. For the luxury of staying in a private room, you’ll have to pay 1,200-1,400 baht per night. Or go to a private hospital.
A three day/two night natural birth package costs 36,900 baht at Phuket International Hospital and 52,900 baht at Bangkok Hospital Phuket. C-section packages cost 49,900 baht and 67,900 baht, respectively.
Both hospitals’ packages include private room accommodation, all the necessary laboratory tests, vaccines, doctor’s fees and medical supplies, as well as food, photos of the baby and in case of Bangkok Hospital, a gift set for the baby. The majority of children in Phuket are born in a natural way, in Vachira Hospital as much as 75 per cent;30 per cent of babies in the private hospitals are born by C-Section.
All packages exclude twin births and complications. So better be ready for just about anything. All trouble will be forgotten once your little one is here.
— Maciek Klimowicz
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