When I lived in Japan, I was lucky to enjoy a great healthcare system. As a civil servant, I also was required to do a full health check once per year. This was always something I sort of enjoyed doing. I think folks are kind of 50/50 on this topic. You either don’t see a doctor until you have to or you see one so you don’t have to see one. I like the peace of mind in knowing that I’m healthy, alive and kicking!
The hospitals in Bangkok have really become more like 5 Star hotels. All the facilities are sparkling clean, staff is super friendly and the health check runs very efficiently. In fact, the term for people who go abroad for health care and procedures is called Medical Tourism. And so in addition to feeding my shopoholic frenzy, I played medical tourist for a day! Oh, I’m so well-rounded!
I took a later appointment, which allowed me a 10% discount on my bill. It also allowed me to sleep in. I arrived in Bangkok late last night and today, slept until 9am and couldn’t drag myself out of bed until 10am! Oooohhh that felt so good! The appointment was at 11:30, and so I had to fast for 10-12 hours before my blood work. Thankfully, they weigh you, take your blood pressure and your blood at your lightest. Still, I’ve gotta loose about 4 kilos. I’m back to a zone I’ve been in before, but am not comfortable staying in. Not fat, but just not me. Right after they take your blood, you are ushered through a number of other stations to check your eyes and EKG and an ultrasound and #1 and #2 and the female-only tests. It’s all very thorough and everyone is incredibly professional.
What’s clear when you are waiting in the lounges is that people from all over the world come to the hospitals for these services. The month of July is popular for those from the Middle East. While very few men wore traditional garb, the women all remained in their black arayas. It reminded me of my trip to Europe last summer and the tiny little lake side town of Zell Am See in Austria. Remote and quaint, and a now popular destination for Saudi families. Out of context, it is just a strange site to see the women in traditional dress amongst those in travel gear in the mountain towns of Austria or the hospital loungewear which patients are provided at a hospital in Bangkok.
While I was in one small section of the health center, each building of the hospital I chose is a good 12 stories tall and provide all sorts of services. Out in the parking lots, I’d say eye and nose jobs are a popular procedure!!! My friend Pete and I laughed as he warned me not to come back to Hanoi with a new set of boobs!
Other than being a little heavy for my own good, I’m a healthy gal. I like seeing the word “normal” on all of the pages of reports! With all of the tests taken and a one-on-one review of the results with a doctor, my total bill came to $268. Small price to pay to make sure you are A-OK!!!
On the Bright Side,