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The Bangkok Podcast

May 16, 2017

This week we talk to an expert on medical tourism to get the inside scoop on what makes Bangkok a key medical tourism destination. And we share an anecdote that proves even the 2nd largest city in SE Asia is really just a small town on the crossroads of life.

What’s it like to return to Bangkok 30 years later after growing up here as an expat kid? And what are the odds that one obscure blog post on how to get a Chinese visa in Bangkok would lead to rekindling a friendship while overlooking the Chao Phraya river? Only in Bangkok. But that’s not what we’re talking about today. Instead, we’re trying to answer this question: What, exactly, makes Bangkok such a hotbed for medical tourism? Neither Evo nor Greg are experts, so we pulled in Kevin McGaffey from renuval to get to the heart of the matter. Kevin’s technology company helps people find the best medical services and best medical service providers here in Thailand. Here are a few of the questions he answers on this episode of our show:

  • What’s different about the Bangkok medical scene that makes our medical skills world class? It has to do with home-grown talent who not only got their training abroad, but come back and do their job so well they often become medical trainers themselves. Some end up here in Thailand and some abroad at the top Western medical schools and facilities.
  • How smart marketing, an abundance of talent, and a commitment to world-class facilities combine with a desirable tourist destination to make the perfect storm for medical tourism
  • What other SE Asian nations are looking to take their own piece of the medical tourism pie, and where Bangkok needs to keeps its edge
  • The types of clientele that come to Bangkok for medical procedures and what their country of origin likely tells you about the medical services they are seeking from Thai providers
  • The difference in the quality of medical care you might expect from government vs private hospitals in Bangkok; and both of those compared to the Western world
  • How some aspects of “Thainess” make for a pleasantly surprising (and rather fantastic) experience for expats who seek out medical services in Bangkok
  • … and two pieces of excellent advice for expats or long-term visitors of Bangkok when it comes to medical insurance and getting discounts on high-cost medical care

Love, Loathe, or Leave

This week one our Twitter followers (wrongly identified in the audio by Greg [sorry!] but corrected in the show notes, Mattiaz!) suggested we talk about the poor excuse for napkins found in most Bangkok restaurants. Oddly enough, we both completely flip-flopped on the issue after discussing it for a few minutes. We’re not fickle. We’re just open minded. Listen in to see if the same happens to you.

Want more?

If it’s your first time experiencing The Bangkok Podcast, you really should get our show downloading to your phone automatically every week. If you use iOS, it’s a breeze to listen via Apple Podcasts. Android users are be able get the show any number of ways. And for bonus points, leave us a review on those platforms or however you listen to the show. We’d love to hear from you, either on the contact form on our website or through a comment or message on our Facebook page. You can Tweet to the show @bangkokpodcast or follow Greg’s tweets of snarky Bangkok goodness. Evo chronicles his Bangkok adventures on Instagram from time to time, if that’s your thing. See you next time on The Bangkok Podcast!

(Direct download .mp3)