Retire at Chiang Mai on 550 USD per month only

Comparing health care in Chiang Mai compared to North America will surprise you and please you.

This information is based on first hand true life experiences. Not what I read, heard, someone told me, or thought or guessed.

This information is accurate and based on my health care treatment of my health problems and that of my close friends who I live with.

If I was to ask someone who did not know Thailand well, ask them which country had the better health care treatment for people living there, Chiang Mai, Thailand or Hamilton, Ontario, Canada where I lived for most of my life they would certainly laugh and say that North American cities had much better health care treatment.

If they came here to see for themselves they would return to North America shocked and displeased with their own health care system. WHY???

I have lived most of my life in Canada and near or in some of the largest metropolitan cities. I have seen first hand the health care system in Canada operate and how it is slowly but surely headed downwards in terms of quality.

First of all let me explain the health care system in Canada.

Accommodation in Chiang Mai

In Canada health care is Free or should I say subsidized for most ailments. We pay for it thru tax deductions. If you are a Canadian citizen and meet certain living conditions then you will be treated for free in hospitals for most ailments. Not everything but most.

If I have warts that is not covered. There are some other items that are not covered but from what I understand most items are covered under the Canadian health care system.

Simply walk into a hospital and tell what ails you and show them your health card and you will receive treatment. Not prompt or efficient treatment but treatment.

Doctors were paid by the Government according to the number of patients they saw.

So in and out you went and returned again and in and out and in and out and in and out. After about 6 visits to my family doctor I was finally scheduled to see a specialist 3 MONTHS FROM THEN.

And I was ill. I lost 30 lb. and could barely make it into the medical clinic to see the doctor and the doctor told me that he will figure out what it is that ails me even if it takes another year. THANKS BUT NO THANKS.

I was put thru a series a tests and the doctor could not diagnose the problem. When I finally saw a specialist within 10 minutes he diagnosed the problem and knew how to treat me and asked me to come in that same day into emergency.

NOW WHY ON EARTH did I have to see my medical doctor 6 times before I could see a specialist. Did he get paid for every one of my visits??? Probably YES and that is why the system stinks now.

You have to treat patients promptly and effectively and after one or two visits if the doctor hasn't a clue as to what the problem is then they should immediately schedule an appointment with a specialist or in emergency in the nearest hospital. That is what I beleive should be happening.

To wait 2 or 3 months to see a specialist when one is sick borders on a healthcare system that is no longer serving the public and requires changes and improvements.

I used to believe doctors to be on some sacred pedestal and would never question them but the time came in my life when started to question things when I felt they were wrong.

My mother at age 70 was diagnosed with stomach cancer. After about 6 trips to the family doctor I said to him, Doctor should I take my mother to emergency at the hospital as she is very ill as she cannot wait two weeks for the next tests you have scheduled? His reply was that the hospital could not do anything that he was unable to do himself.

That same day I took my mother to emergency at the nearest hospital and that evening they told me that they thought that my mother had stomach cancer.

My family doctor wanted us to wait 2 more weeks for some tests he wanted to perform. My mother was vomitting every time she ate and unable to make it up the stairs on her on and we were supposed to wait another 2 weeks for more tests.

I could give you more examples of incompetence that is what I would call it, medical incompetance. The doctor at the hospital told me that he suggests taking out my mother's stomach. When I asked how much of here stomach he did not know.

When I asked my mother and told here what the doctor wanted to do she said NO. At her age to go thru an operation like that was not something she would agree to. So I told the doctor I would like a second opinion. When he heard that he told me that he could have my mother transferred out of the hospital.

I had my mother moved to another hospital where the second opinion was, NO OPERATION. When I told that doctor that the first doctor suggested an operation his reply was, I TRAINED THAT DOCTOR.

So here we had a young doctor who wanted to practise his surgical technique knowing the operation was not required and was actually detrimental to the patient.

And I have more examples and can say that the Canadian health care system from what I have seen needs improvement. Many hospitals rely on Seniors to answer the phones and to volunteer their services yet the executives at the hospitals are paid 6 figure incomes and drive BMW's, Jaguars and Mercedes.

Is that right??? NO

Now on to the health care treatments in Chaing Mai, Thailand.

I consider myself fairly healthy but with anyone my age (mid 50's) we run into illnesses as we age. Some people have heart problems, liver, gallstones, arthritis ...

And the longer we live the more health care we will require. So health care is an extremely important topic and item for consideration by retiree's coming to Thailand and our own clients and web site visitors.

Since I have been in Chiang Mai I have been to local clinics where I had to wait 15-30 minutes to see the doctor who diagnosed the problem and wrote out a prescription that was filled within a few minutes of leaving his office. The cost for this diagnosis and medicine varied from 600 to 1,000 baht or about $18 U.S. to $33 U.S.

After taking the medicine I felt better within a few days to a week. Two visits were for infections and one visit for gout.

I have also been to McCormick Hospital here in Chiang Mai which is a general hospital. Anyone can go there including foreigners who present their passport and fill out a form and can be treated within 15-30 minutes of their arrival.

Now in comparing health care in Chiang Mai and Canada the first thing I would notice is that the patient waiting area is not as fancy here in Chiang Mai as in Canada. The doctors office here may require a few dabs of paint and does not have paintings hanging on the walls. But on the other hand they treat me quickly and want to see me well. It is not a series of tests after tests and waiting forever to figure out what is wrong. They treat you quickly and efficiently here in Chiang Mai. The doctors all speak good English.

So in terms of access to health care here it is readily accessible and that also applies to specialists who can be seen in a day or two here compared to several months or more in Canada.

I have also been to private clinics that charge more than the smaller clinics or general hospital and where you will be treated like a prince or princess and 4-6 nurses will be looking after you at the same time. When all is said and done the cost of the treatment will be first class and will cost much less than anywhere in the world.

When I had a bonded tooth break I emailed several local dental clinics. They responded quickly in English and I was treated the following day and the tooth was fixed good or actually better than new for about $18 U.S. where I would have paid $ 150-200 Canadian for the same dental work.

I see foreigners visit the general hospital and I know they have been there before and that they are pleased with the service as they would not be returning otherwise.

So Canada get your act together and that also applies to the U.S.A. The doctors have to treat patient more effectively and when they cannot determine the problem then schedule an appointment with a specialist QUICKLY and not months from that date.

Also to the doctors in Canada, Treat the patients as you would want you or your family member who was ill treated. Is that too much to ask??? Forget about gouging the system for the last penny you can squeeze out of it.

To our web site visitors we would like to say that health care in Chiang Mai, Thailand is very good and affordable. You can pay as you go or if you have exisitng medicial problems then sign up for a health care plan and the cost is very low and your treatment will be excellent and you will not have any concerns about living here long term and receiving prompt and good treatment.

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