Great Experience with Destination Health Checkup in Thailand

As a serial entrepreneur in the US, I haven’t always had good comprehensive health insurance. When I was younger, this wasn’t a big concern but as I have aged, I realized that I haven’t had regular checkups in years.

My brother, who had lived briefly in SE Asia, recommended that I go to Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand to get a comprehensive health checkup. He assured me that it would be an affordable and worthwhile investment of time and money.

Since I travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam frequently, this was a reasonable option for me. After going through the different checkup package options on the website, I selected the “comprehensive (over 40)”.  The cost was 22,790 baht (around $680). This covered:

  • Vital Signs and Physical Examination
  • Blood Tests
    • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
    • Fasting Blood Sugar
    • Hb A1 C
    • Lipid (Fats) Profile
      • Cholesterol, HDL and Triglyceride
      • Cholesterol/HDL ratio
      • LDL Cholesterol
    • Gout *Uric acid
    • Kidney Function Panel
      • Creatinine
      • BUN
    • Liver Function Panel
      • SGOT (AST) and SGPT (ALT)
      • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)
      • Total Bilirubin, Albumin, Globulin
      • Direct bilirubin, Total protein
      • Gamma GT (GGT)
    • Thyroid Panel *TSH and Free T4
    • Hepatitis Screening
      • HBsAg and HBsAb
      • Anti HCV
    • Tumor Markers
      • CEA for GI Cancer
      • AFT for Liver Cancer
      • PSA for Prostate Cancer (male only)
  • Urine examination
  • Stool Examination with Occult Blood
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Exercise Street Test (EST) (male only)
  • Chest X-Ray
  • Ultrasound Whole Abdomen
  • Digital Mammogram with Ultrasound Breast (female only, over 40)
  • Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam (female only)

First of all, Bumrungrad International is a whole-class hospital. It is operated as efficiently as any hospital I’ve ever visited. The whole checkup progress is streamlined from station to station, from one test to another. At first, it felt a little like a cattle ranch of patients, but I soon realized that each patient moves along the process relatively quickly and with some individual care by the many staff members.

This was the most comprehensive physical I’ve ever had in my life. During the EKG, they immediately spotted some irregularities with my heart, which was a big disappointment given all the cardio exercises I’ve done. So, I also opted in for a CT heart scan with a dye injection (around $850 / average in the US is $6,100).

In short, the scan proved that I was overall fit and with some minor abnormalities that are controllable. What a relief to know given my family’s history of heart disease. Everything else proved that I was in relatively good health despite the stressful life of an entrepreneur and my social lifestyle.

At Bumrungrad, saw people from all over the world, including many Americans. I hope that sharing this “medical tourism” experience in Thailand will help anyone else considering the same. Besides the Thai food in Thailand is worth the trip in of itself.