Local Phuket medical care is generally good. Hospitals are equipped with modern facilities, 24-hour emergency rooms and outpatient clinics.
Travellers tend to worry about contracting exotic infectious diseases when visiting the tropics, but these are far less common than problems with pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, and accidental injury (especially as a result of traffic accidents). Other common illnesses are respiratory infections, diarrhoea and dengue fever. Fortunately most common illnesses can be prevented or are easily treated.
Our advice is a general guide and does not replace the advice of a doctor trained in travel medicine.
Checking insurance quotes…
Before You Go
Even if you’re fit and healthy, don’t travel without health insurance – accidents do happen. You may require extra cover for adventure activities such as rock climbing or diving, as well as scooter/motorcycle riding. Most hospitals require an upfront guarantee of payment (from yourself or your insurer) prior to admission. Enquire before your trip about payment of medical charges and retain all documentation (medical reports, invoices etc) for claim purposes.
The only vaccine required by international regulations is yellow fever. Proof of vaccination will only be required if you have visited a country in the yellow-fever zone within the six days prior to entering Thailand. If you are travelling to Thailand from Africa or South America, you should check to see if you require proof of vaccination.
You should arrange your vaccines six to eight weeks prior to departure through a specialised travel-medicine clinic.
Availability & Cost of Healthcare
Private hospitals are more expensive than other medical facilities, but offer a superior standard of care and English-speaking staff. The cost of health care is relatively cheap in Thailand compared to most Western countries.
Although it's deemed potable by the authorities, the Thais don't drink the tap water, and neither should you. Stick to bottled or filtered water during your stay.