Rod McLaughlin


Avoid Sriphat Medical Center in Chiang Mai (12 sep 17)

I had to have a minor heart op whilst in Thailand. I originally went to Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, but switched to Sriphat because it's cheaper. This was my first mistake - it's cheaper for a reason, and my insurance (eventually) paid for most of it anyway.

However, I still had to pay my deductible (about US $ 2000). The operation had been delayed twice because of insurance obstruction, so in a sense I was a sick patient. They still put me through the stress of making me stand at a counter while they tried out various credit cards, and managed to pay most of the deductible, the insurance company having promised to pay the remainder. At the Chiang Mai Ram, they are much more pleasant about money, maybe because they're getting more of it.

The doctor was great, and the operation was a success. My complaints are about his staff. 

Pardon the details, but the operation involved poking a tube into an artery located on the right side of my groin. There is a little bit of hair there, so possibly it needed shaving off. Instead, they got this fag to shave off all my pubic hair. The creep kept touching me unnecessarily. It was only later that I discovered this by looking at the hole left by the tube, away from where my pubic hair normally is. They could have got a cute nurse to do this unnecessary activity, and I wouldn't complain. I bet that's what you get at the Chiang Mai Ram. 

I woke up in a room, and couldn't sleep. I thought I might as well get as much out of the hospital as possible, so I pressed the buzzer which they'd said would bring attention, to ask for a sleeping pill. No-one answered. Eventually, a nurse walked past the window, and I managed to signal to her.

When I woke up in the morning, I felt OK, until they brought me a meal. This was honestly the only bad food I have ever encountered in Thailand. Have you ever tried cold fried eggs straight out of the fridge? How about cold overcooked marrow? Carrots? It was like what my mother had to live on during world war two. 

I wanted to discharge myself. But because I still owed 10%, they treated me like a prisoner. Even when I went to the toilet, they asked "where are you going?", and followed me and waited outside the toilet door. I explained that I couldn't get money out of the bank without my passport, which was currently at my lawyers'. So they called the lawyers, and got them to send them a copy of my passport picture page. A nurse then escorted me to the bank - on the hospital premises - and I got the remaining money. They then gave me my prescription pills, and I left. A friend couldn't find parking at the hospital, but I found her outside, and she gave me a lift home. I've got one more appointment, and I'll tell the doctor I don't ever want to go to Sriphat Medical Center again.



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