Maternity package rates at Bumrungrad (Bangkok) and St Luke’s hospital (Manila)

As of this writing, the exchange rate is 30 Baht=US $1. So a normal delivery package at Bumgrungrad is US $1,196, while a C-section birth is US $3100. I was quite impressed with my experience at Samitivej hospital for our first child's birth in 2011. I imagine the facilities in Bumrungrad, which is considered a higher-class (5star) facility, must be better. In comparison, when we had our daughter in March this year in St Luke's Hospital (Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Manila) the quote for a C-section delivery is PHP155,000-185,000 (US $3789-$4512) for 4-5 days' hospitalization including delivery, recovery and nursery room charges, medicines and supplies used in the delivery room, hospitalization expenses (private room) and professional … [Read more...]

Bumrungrad Hospital in pictures

It feels like we've been making a tour of hospitals this year. Six months ago we spent a lot of time in St Luke's Hospital in Manila (also considered a 5-star medical tourism hospital). I had the baby there while Keith had a series of cardiac checkups and screenings. We all had dental work done there too. Now, Keith was evacuated to Bangkok's Bumrungrad because of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. What a year. Well.. here is Bumrungrad in pictures. Compared to hospitals back home in NYC this looks like a nice hotel.   Other posts on this topic: Maternity package rates at Bumrungrad (Bangkok) and St Luke’s hospital (Manila) Sept 28, 2013 Having a baby in Manila vs. Having a baby in Bangkok (for … [Read more...]

things I love about Bangkok – Thai Iced Tea and Iced Green Tea

One iced tea costs 25 Baht (~US $0.83) from a street vendor just outside Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok. … [Read more...]

Having a baby in Manila vs. Having a baby in Bangkok (for expatriates)

... continued from Part I. Our first child was born in Bangkok’s Samitivej Hospital in January 2011, which I wrote about here. Our second was born in St Luke's Medical Center, Taguig, Manila, in March 2013. Below is our experience in both countries. As I mentioned in an earlier post, airlines restrict travel at 35 weeks 1 day gestation. Living costs have to be calculated from five weeks before the estimated due date, through the birth, and the time it takes to finalize the paperwork to clear you for exiting the country with the baby. Bureaucratic coordination is a tremendous help to medical tourists - particularly for births. Our overall experience: Bangkok's medical tourism industry is exceptionally efficient. Bureaucratic … [Read more...]

Giving birth in Manila vs Giving birth in Bangkok (for expatriates)

As many of you know, most foreigners working in Cambodia and its neighboring countries fly to Bangkok for medical procedures. We chose to have our baby in Bangkok, Thailand, in January 2011, which I wrote about here on resources for foreigners. Due to airline policies we flew to Bangkok at 35 weeks gestation (they don't want women having a baby while on board). This is a substantial amount of time away from work, so a speedy return back after the birth is ideal. Thanks to the extremely efficient medical tourism industry, we were able to leave Thailand with the baby an astonishing 10 days after birth. The official birth certificate, US passport, and exit clearance were all secured very quickly and painlessly. All engagement with government … [Read more...]

Chestnuts roasting on an open wok..

...and other holiday icon mashups, sprinkled with an Asian twist. Western holidays are already so commercialized back home, they're often adulterated further on their way to becoming eagerly-adopted shopping holidays in non-Christian countries. Like the huge blowup pumpkin, decorated like a Christmas tree at one of Phnom Penh's local bookstores last Christmas. Like the bunnies, traditionally associated with Easter, which seem to take center stage in every Christmas Season set in Bangkok (here's one at the Emporium on Sukhumvit). Edited to note: Asia is about to welcome the Year of the Rabbit in a few weeks, so this is the reason for all the bunnies in the Christmas sets :-) With Christmas over, the bunnies' costumes and sets are being … [Read more...]

Tales from the bump

Google is not your friend if you’re pregnant and your hair dryer fries in your hand, briefly electrocuting you. Not to worry, he’s fine (says the doc, and yep he’s looking like a boy) – I can feel those momentous first movements. It’s like tiny little gas bubble rumblings :-\ He’s not packing much of a punch yet. We spent a week in Jom Tien, Thailand, to check out a hospital and the ob-gyn there. Loved the doc. Loved the seafood - here we're at a fisherman's village gorging ourselves on the fresh catch. About four weeks ago I started looking sufficiently femme fertile where people feel my tummy is public property and they can just reach out and touch the bump. Go away. This trimester's more interesting than the first. The little … [Read more...]

Thailand’s state of emergency

Sociologist Dr Pasuk Phongpaichit was quoted in the Bangkok Post saying that the gap between the richest and poorest families in Thailand is 13 times, higher than any other country in the ASEAN region, a record I didn't realise Thailand held. For about four weeks now, the Red Shirts (the disenfranchised poor or The National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), supporters of Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in 2006) have been marching from the provinces into Bangkok and are agitating for fresh elections. They're still gathering strength and they've hardened their negotiating stance. Below are some links for keeping up with what's happening: Here's a good collection of stills, maps and footage of the carnage this past … [Read more...]