It's not always easy combing the world for action figures. Besides lost luggage, long flights, and language issues, there's the risk of getting sick. Mild cases of food poisoning as well as catching a cold or the local version of the flu, or something worse can and do happen. DioWarriors recent trip to the Far East landed all of us into a local hospital in Bangkok.
The DioWarriors team all got the flu. The symptoms were bad and we weren't having fun. So we took a trip to a hospital, one that we had already been to before.
If you've never been to Bangkok, well, the hospitals there are top notch. Of course it depends which hospital you go to, but all-in-all our experience have been favorable. For me, this was the second time I've visited a hospital in Thailand (the first being for malaria.) In both cases getting to see a doctor took between 5 to 10 minutes. Treatment began 15 minutes after. I'll explain....
Samitivej is a busy hospital, but the design is so that it doesn't seem congested. I have not experienced crowded waiting rooms like I typically experience here in the US. At Samitivej they require an ID. One is issued to you when you first register with their system on your first visit. With additional visits all you have to do is give them the ID -- you don't need to fill in any additional forms. So, the wait time is reduced.
About 10 to 15 minutes (my first experience took 5 minutes) you get to see a doctor. A nurse comes to escort you to another wait room further in the hospital. After a few minutes another nurse comes to take you to a room for the typical blood pressure and weight check. A few minutes later the nurse takes you to the doctor's office who examines you. Then you go back to your seat and wait for any test results. Typically the hospital have labs to run tests right there -- tests are not outsourced to another clinic -- and the results are returned 10 or 15 minutes later. You see the doctor again who tells you what you have and how treatment is going to be.
Now it's time to pay. When you leave the doctor's office you go to the cashier. If you require a prescription you can pick it up after paying -- prescriptions are right next to the cashier counter, already ready. As far as I know, the hospitals there you pay for yourself. If you can't pay they don't treat. They expect you to pay when you leave, else you aren't going to get your prescription.
Total time for my first visit: 20 minutes -- check in, see the doctor, prescription (anti-malaria) and check out. The total time for my second visit: 40 minutes. The same procedure, just the analysis from the lab took longer.
Total cost at the first visit, < $30. Total cost from the second visit, < $100.
There's other things at the hospital. Samitivej has a small food-court, pastry shop, other shops I didn't bother to look at, and Starbucks.
Other nice things about Thai hospitals: they tend to be open 24 hours, no ER, and doctor on location always. If you don't like the service, there's many hospitals to choose. So it's competitive and you tend to get good service.
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