Even though it’s a relatively small island, Samui is home to some of Thailand’s best hospitals outside of Bangkok. As much as we hope you won’t need it, if you do require hospital treatment during your stay on the island then you should be in safe hands.
Samui’s private hospitals are equipped with modern facilities and equipment, the doctors are well trained, and many of them have studied abroad. Staff speak good English and sometimes other languages too; Russian and German translators are on hand at some places. Comparatively speaking, private rooms are affordable to many in the West and some resemble resorts. The private hospitals also have dedicated offices to assist you in processing insurance claims. Here’s a rundown of the best facilities on the island.
Bandon International Private Hospital
The Bandon International Hospital is central and easy to find in Bophut along the ring road. Facilities and service are of a high standard and the hospital is modern and well-equipped. The hospital has both a surgery and a trauma centre. It also has an international clinic on the neighbouring island of Ko Pha Ngan.
You’ll find Bandon near Big C Shopping Centre. T: (077) 245 236 or (077) 245 237. www.bandonhospitalsamui.com
Bangkok Hospital Samui
Samui’s biggest hospital offers a wide range of services and the staff and doctors have a high level of English. The standards at this hospital rival the best Western hospitals. There’s a trauma unit, and if you’re travelling with kids, this is probably your hospital of choice should your child get sick as they have an excellent paediatrics division.
Bangkok Hospital is located on the ringroad in Chaweng, shortly before Chaweng Noi if travelling clockwise. T: (077) 429 500. www.samuihospital.com
Samui International Hospital
This is one of the island’s newest hospitals and offers a wide range of services including cosmetic and dental procedures for both inpatients and outpatients. The hospital is even equipped with its own swimming pool for convalescent patients, and staff can speak a number of languages including English, French and German.
The hospital is located at the northern end of Chaweng Beach Road. T: (077) 230 781/2. www.sih.co.th
Thai International Hospital
Samui’s Thai International Hospital offers a wide range of services including a 24-hour accident and emergency centre, and its own resident plastic surgeon. (This is the place to go for a little ‘surgery and sunshine’ — botox and other minor cosmetic treatments.)
The hospital is located opposite Tesco Lotus, Chaweng. T: (077) 245 721-6. www.thaiinterhospital.com
Samui Government Hospital
Located on the outskirts of Nathon, Samui’s Government Hospital will probably be a last resort for foreign tourists who will normally choose one of the island’s private hospitals. But if it’s an emergency and this is the closest hospital, it helps to know how to find it. The government hospital is reasonably well equipped but not to the same extent as other hospitals on the island, and the level of English spoken is generally lower. It is however considerably cheaper than the private hospitals.
Turn down the road by immigration, when exiting Nathon travelling anti-clockwise and follow the signs. T: (077) 421 230 or (077) 421 232.
You won’t have to travel far to find a pharmacy on Samui. In fact, there are nearly as many as there are 7-elevens. You’ll find most pharmacists speak good English and many are open 24 hours or at least until late at night, so you’ll always be able to pick up a tube of after-sun lotion or rehydration fluid after a long day in the sun. Pharmacists also keep a book on hand to match up local brand names with international brands, so you shouldn’t have to worry about being prescribed the wrong drug or dosage. Boots pharmacies can be found inside the major shopping centres, and as well as local chain Morya’s many branches, you’ll also find independent pharmacies plus those located within all the hospitals.
Dentists and optometrists
Almost all of the dentists on Samui have trained overseas and can speak English to a good standard. Generally speaking, dentistry is much cheaper in Thailand than it is in other, more developed countries, and a basic check up is available at a fraction of the cost you’ll pay in the West. It’s become popular for tourists to have dental work done while on the island – both medical and cosmetic. Popular procedures include various methods of tooth whitening and also dental crowns. The money saved on this procedure may even cover the cost of the airfare – a nice incentive to tie a trip to the dentist in with your holiday. If you’re not looking for cosmetic dentistry, but have a toothache or other problem while on the island, the dentist at the Samui International Hospital is very good and exceptionally cheap – we’ve used him a couple of times. Baan Luck Fun dentists have branches in Chaweng, Mae Nam, Bophut and Lamai. They’re reasonably priced and professional. A deep cleaning will cost you around 1,000 baht.
All the main shopping centres have optometrists, as do the main tourist drags. As with dentistry, opticians are considerably cheaper than in the West. Top Charoen has several branches on the island. www.topchareon.co.th.
Here’s hoping you don’t need any of the info above, but should you have an emergency or fancy a little ‘plasterwork’ done while you’re on the island, bookmark this to keep on hand.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 24th May, 2013.