Duel-Pricing for Foreign Patients at Government Hospital Patients Will Soon Be Legal

Thailand’s public hospitals will soon be able to can now legally charge foreign nationals higher rates for services under new regulations now published. 

The new rules essentially make it legal for public hospitals to charge more to foreign nationals, something that has been a source of complaints over the years when it happened illicitly. 

This means that foreigners on o-visas or tourist visas will pay twice as much as Thais for treatment and medicines in public hospitals.

These regulations follow a Dutchman successfully suing the Hua Hin government hospital as he had to pay up to six times more for the treatment of cancer.

This does not apply to people from four ASEAN countries – Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam – who will pay the same price as Thais if they are here with work permits.

Foreigners who are here on education visas or have work permits will usually pay 50 percent more, but some treatments will also cost them a hundred percent more. Foreigners on o-visas or tourist visas get double the price.  The new rates come into effect September 29th.

The revised law lists a variety of treatments and medications, and associated prices. 

For example, a simple antibody screening costs Thais and ASEAN residents THB1 30. Most expats will pay THB 190 while retirees and tourists pay double – THB 260.

Want an HIV test? The THB160 charged to Thais and ASEAN nationals goes up to THB240 for working expats and THB320 for retirees/tourists.

On the higher end, a spinal MRI that costs Thais and their neighbours THB 18,700 jumps up to THB 23,375 for working expats and THB 28,050 for retirees/tourists.

Thailand’s medical tourism brought in an estimated THB 18.4 billion THB in 2018, but most seek treatment at private hospitals.