Medical and recreational tourism in Thailand: a guide with tips for foreigners



Medical and recreational tourism in Thailand: a guide with tips for foreigners

Thailand is one of the countries where medical tourism has gained momentum in recent years and is becoming increasingly popular. People from all over the world come not only for medical care, but also to improve their health and restore their physical and spiritual strength. Among the main reasons why Thai medicine is so attractive to foreigners are the following:

the low cost of treatment;

the quality of medical service providers in private medical facilities;

the highly developed tourism industry.

There are currently more than 1,000 hospitals in Thailand, of which more than 470 are private. Some 37 private institutions have been accredited by the JCI.

How to get medical care in Thailand, what is needed, and what documents to prepare – read further in the article.

What do you need to do to come to the country for medical care 

First of all, it is necessary to find a medical facility for treatment or to receive other medical services. If such a task would prove difficult, you can enlist the help of companies that specialize in the field of medical tourism.

In Thailand, the highest level of service is still provided in private hospitals and centers, where modern services are used and some of the most experienced doctors work. Among the country's top healthcare facilities, which are known worldwide, there are:

Bumrungrad International

Bangkok Hospitals Group

Samitivej Hospitals

Among the most common and popular procedures most frequently used by foreign tourists in Thailand are:

cosmetic/plastic surgery;

dental procedures;

medical examination programs;

cardiac procedures;

orthopedic surgery;

infertility treatment;

surgical treatment of obesity;

gastric bypass and banding;

ophthalmology and eye surgery;

cataract surgery, etc.

Once you have found a suitable hospital, discuss all the details of your future medical care in detail with your doctor. After you have settled all the issues, you can proceed with the preparation of the documents. To travel to the country for treatment, it is advisable first of all to obtain an MT medical visa.

To register it, the following documents must be submitted


questionnaire form;

photographs with a size of 35x45mm or 30x40mm;

tickets back and forth;

account number;

document from your place of work. 

You will also need to complete a questionnaire and prepare medical documents, including test results.


Foreigners who come to Thailand with a medical visa for treatment or examination are allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days. You must carry all the necessary documents to prove your identity and the purpose of your visit.

It is also advisable to take out medical insurance in advance, which covers certain costs and allows you to enjoy certain benefits. There are two main types of insurance available in Thailand:



For more insurance information, visit the Thai Embassy website. 

As required, on arrival, tourists must pass an entry check and present the necessary documents to the immigration/medical officer.

After these formalities, vaccinated persons and visitors with a negative test document can travel freely throughout the country. If the tourist is not vaccinated and there is no confirmation of a negative test result, the recommendations and instructions of the health service must be followed within 72 hours after the arrival.

Documents required 

Для в’їзду до країні зазвичай потрібно пред’явити наступні документи: 

valid passport or border pass;


insurance policy;

COVID-19 vaccination certificate or documents confirming a negative test result.

As this is a visit for treatment or examination, it is also recommended to have medical certificates and confirmation from the medical facility in Thailand where services will be provided.


One good reason why medical tourism in Thailand is so attractive to foreigners is the price of services. The cost of treatment in the country is many times cheaper than in most Western countries. Usually, the difference is 20-50% less.
The cost of surgical treatment can start at $5,000, while a similar operation in the West will cost $20,000. For example, a heart valve replacement in Thailand will cost around $10,000.
Cosmetic and plastic surgeries are also relatively cheap in the country. Prices range from around US$400 to US$5,000. Breast augmentation, for example, costs around US$2,600 to US$3,200.
Similarly with dental services. Their prices in Thailand are also democratic. By comparison, in a Thai hospital, teeth whitening costs between US$100 and US$200, while in Western countries the same services can cost between US$400 and US$1,200. 

Recreational tourism

Recreational tourism is no less popular in Thailand. It is very common for foreigners to come to the country for trips to temples, of which there are many, as well as for retreats, healing treatments, and spiritual restoration.
The amazing Thai spas, sanatoriums, and Thai massages are world-renowned. For example, you can enjoy a range of relaxing treatments at the famous Lavana Bangkok spa. You can read a list of the best health facilities in Bangkok at the following link.

More articles on the topic: 

The most beautiful places to visit in Thailand - find here.

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