Much press has been given to the demonstrations in Bangkok recently, and many considering medical care in Thailand may have had second thoughts for these reasons. The situation on the ground was, as it usually is, isolated to a relatively small part of the city.
I lived in Bangkok, Thailand from 1967 until 1976, which was right during the Vietnam war. I lived in Bangkok during several coups, and several student demonstrations. As with many events which occur so far away, when we see and hear about the events through the media, they seem (and often are) larger than life.
The Thai people are generally a very gentle, very kind, very non-violent people. They are also a very new democracy, and are experimenting with their new-found voice. When I last visited Bangkok about a year and a half ago, there was a “takeover” at the airport. During the entire “takeover”, not a shot was fired, not a knife was drawn.
My best friend from the 6th grade is a Green Beret Lieutenant Colonel posted in Bangkok. I have been speaking to him daily and he has informed me that other than a relatively small area close to down town, life in Thailand goes on as normal. I have also been in touch with other close friends, and associates in Bangkok, including the people at Bumrungrad International Hospital, one of the finest hospitals anywhere, and they have also assured me that there have been no direct impacts to their hospital. Naturally, they took all reasonable precautions, so that their staff and patients were never placed in any danger. During the height of the protests they were still treating 250 inpatients, and 800 to 1,200 outpatients per day, and now that the protests are over, they were back to 273 inpatients and 2,247 outpatients yesterday.
Many Americans travel to facilities such as Bumrungrad in Bangkok, as well as other facilities in Thailand, and other international destinations every year. You can gain direct access to medical care pricing, at many of these fine facilities at MediBid. If you are planning a trip for medical care abroad, plan ahead, and be aware of any travel advisories. Also, talk to people familiar with the area to find out more about the situation on the ground.
As an aside, I met with many of my Thai friends in Indianapolis last June, and they had been told before their travel to the US, that people were keeling over from Swine Flue, and many Americans lay dead in the streets, causing some to cancel their trips.