Why do foreigners recommend Bumrungrad Hospital for Thai health certificates?

Where to get a Thai health certificate in Bangkok or anywhere else in Thailand?

Very occasionally I will browse the Thailand section of Reddit, just to see what questions are being asked and if there is any question I do not know the answer to.

In most cases, there is not, as I have lived and worked in Thailand for almost 20 years, so can answer questions accurately and honestly about most situations pertaining to foreigners traveling to, or living and working in Thailand.

That is why some answers given on Reddit by foreigners to questions asked by other non-Thais bemuse me. Particularly when it comes to things like spending money on products or services that are at a much higher amount than anyone that has spent a few years in Thailand would spend.

Case in point, a short conversation on Reddit this week about where to get a Thai health certificate. Something most non-Thais have to get once a year if they want a Thai work permit and something that, if you go to a Thai clinic or Thai public hospital, rarely costs more than 100 to 150 baht for both the examination and the certificate itself.

According to the people giving advice on Reddit, however, Bumrungrad Hospital is where you should go.

You do not need to go to Bumrungrad for a Thai health certificate

Now, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with Bumrungrad Hospital.

In fact, Bumrungrad is not only the best hospital in Thailand, it is also one of the top hospitals in South East Asia. Therein, however, lies the problem.

Because a typical Thai health certificate that you would get at a local clinic anywhere in Thailand, and would never cost more than 150 baht is 700 baht and more at Bumrungrad.

For the same medical exam, or lack thereof, and the same service.

The lovely staff at Paolo Hospital

Why do foreigners recommend Bumrungrad Hospital?

Of course, this is not a subject I have done official research on, so is nothing more than my opinion.

But one thing I have noticed about foreigners that recommend Bumrungrad Hospital for many of the things they do is many seem to look down on public hospitals or other private Thai hospitals, and erroneously believe the only place you will get good health care in Thailand is at Bumrungrad.

How much is an annual check up at a private hospital in Thailand — and what do you get for the money?

As an almost 20-year resident of Thailand, I can tell you that is not remotely true.

After all, not only have I been given exceptionally good (and very cheap) medical care at private hospitals like Paolo Hospital — a mid-range private hospital that offers super care at affordable costs —  and Bangkok Hospital, I have also had better care than I was ever given in the United States at public hospitals like Sirindhorn Hospital and Rajavithi Hospital, and for very affordable medical fees.

I even had superb care at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital when I went for help with a breathing problem I had had for a few weeks (it was an allergy to Bangkok’s pollution), and that is a teaching hospital.

The same applies to many other public and private hospitals outside Bangkok.

Get your health certificate at a local Thai health clinic or a public hospital

In other words, if you need a health certificate so you can get a work permit in Thailand, head to either a local clinic — any Thai you know will be able to tell you where the closest one is — or to a public hospital.

The examination that is required only takes a few minutes, and the cost should be no more than 150 baht.

Paying 700 baht at Bumrungrad for something any doctor in Thailand can do is simply throwing your money away.

Related: How to get a health certificate in Thailand — it’s cheap, easy and only takes a few minutes