Toward the end of our stay in Nong Khai I wasn't feeling all that well. I took some medicine that I carry with me but I didn't seem to be feeling better. Upon arriving in Bangkok, I decided to go to the doctor – mostly because I figured this would be a better move than waiting until we went to China which was only 5 days later. According to my research as well as upon the recommendation of our hotel, I went to the Bumrungrad Hospital where I was told I would find an English speaking doctor.
I found more than an English speaking doctor. I found an international hospital that was like a five star hotel! Upon entering, a person immediately greets you in English and inquires as to your needs. I was sent to the 10th floor where I was again greeted by an English speaking person who directed me to registration. Using state of the art computer equipment, I was rapidly registered and told which floor to which to proceed. Passing by the Starbucks (which I was tempted to stop in but didn't), I went to the 16th floor and waited to see the doctor. In the waiting area you could hear languages from all over the world as people come here from everywhere to receive first class medical treatment – sometimes at a fraction of the cost of what it would cost in their own country. I had heard about this on NPR, but now I was seeing it first hand.
The doctor I saw spoke English very well and was a good humored person. My lab test came out negative and he just felt that I needed to give the antibiotic treatment that I was using a little more time. Hearing that I was leaving soon and heading to China, he prescribed an alternative antibiotic for me to carry just in case I didn't feel better within a week. For his time, I was charged 500 Baht ($14.08 US), a facility fee of 200 Baht ($5.63 US) and a lab fee of 200 Baht (also $5.63 US). This was less than my health insurance co-pay at home and all at a first class medical facility.
Before leaving the hospital, I stopped in Au Bon Pain on the first floor to pick up some desperately needed “American Style” chocolate chip cookies for the family. As I looked around, it was clear to me that this would be the ideal place to have a future medical procedure performed. And recuperating in Thailand after the procedure wouldn't be too bad either!