Whether you are an expat or a Thai national, this article will help you make informed decisions about your maternity care options in Thailand.
Thailand boasts a well-developed healthcare system with modern facilities and highly trained professionals, making it one of the best in Asia and the world. This makes it an ideal destination for expectant mothers who can expect top-notch care throughout their pregnancy and childbirth.
According to the 2021 Global Security Index Report, Thailand has been ranked fifth globally for its strong health security. The country has made significant strides in improving maternal and child health, resulting in relatively low maternal mortality rates.
Public hospitals in Thailand are generally well-equipped and staffed by qualified medical professionals, and many offer maternity services to both Thai nationals and expats. Normal delivery in a public hospital can cost as little as THB 27,000, while a C-section will cost around THB 55,000.
Thai pregnant women have the opportunity to access free, high-quality antenatal care through the Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) program. The program also provides pregnant women with essential pregnancy tests, medical consultations, regular medical check-ups, ultrasounds, and mental health support, all without any cost to the patient.
The UHC program ensures that pregnant women in Thailand receive the necessary care and support for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, regardless of their financial situation or employment status.
For non-Thai citizens who are not eligible for UHC, the cost of maternity care in a public hospital in Thailand can vary by hospital and care level. However, public hospitals may have longer wait times for check-ups and you may not have the option to choose your doctor. Additionally, language barriers and service quality may also be factors for foreigners to consider when deciding whether to use a public hospital for maternity care.
While Thailand's public healthcare system is generally of a high standard, premium clinics in Thailand offer an even higher level of care and service, albeit at a higher cost. These clinics are part of the public healthcare system but operate on a fee-for-service basis, meaning patients pay for the additional services they receive.
Private hospitals in Thailand provide a variety of room options, ranging from basic to luxurious suites. For instance, luxury suites may feature a separate living area, a private balcony, and an expansive bathroom with a bathtub. Moreover, some private hospitals offer supplementary services, such as a personal nurse or midwife, in-room dining, and access to an exclusive lounge.
When it comes to the cost, normal delivery in a private hospital can cost as little as THB 95,000, while a C-section delivery can cost around THB 130,000, depending on the hospital and the level of care required. These prices usually include all the necessary medical expenses, such as prenatal check-ups, delivery, and postnatal care.
Throughout your pregnancy, you will have scheduled appointments with an obstetrician or gynecologist, who will oversee your health and your baby's growth. These appointments usually involve ultrasounds, blood tests, and other diagnostic tests to ensure that your pregnancy is advancing as expected.
Many women choose to use public hospitals for prenatal care and delivery and then switch to private hospitals for postnatal care or additional services. This approach can help reduce costs while still ensuring you receive quality care.
Alternatively, if you choose to use a private hospital for prenatal care and delivery, you can still access public hospitals for additional services, such as vaccinations or check-ups for your baby.
In Thailand, hospitals offer maternity packages that include prenatal check-ups, delivery, postnatal care, and sometimes additional services like ultrasound scans and vaccinations. These packages can be found on their websites.
For instance, Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital offers Natural Birth package of THB 99,000; C-Section Delivery package of THB 129,000; and C-Section Delivery for Twins package of THB 215,000. Each package includes meals, laboratory testing, neonatal services, celebration gifts, and many more.
However, these packages alone may not be suitable for women who have medical conditions or complications that require additional care, which may not be included in a standard maternity package. In such cases, additional medical treatments and procedures may be required, which would be charged separately. Therefore, consulting with a healthcare professional is necessary to determine the best course of action.
Although maternity care in Thailand is generally more affordable than in other expensive Asian countries like Hong Kong or Singapore, it's crucial to be aware of all the potential costs associated with having a baby in the country.
One potential cost is the additional expenses that may arise from complications of pregnancy which can occur during pregnancy or childbirth.
The most common complications of pregnancy include:
Gestational diabetes: Occurs in 2 to 10% of pregnancies
High blood pressure: Affects 6 to 8% of pregnancies
Preterm labor: Occurs in 11% of pregnancies worldwide
Placenta previa: Occurs in 0.5 to 1% of pregnancies
Miscarriage: Occurs in 10 to 20% of clinically recognised pregnancies
Stillbirth: Occurs in 1 in 160 pregnancies in high-income countries, with higher rates in low- and middle-income countries
For a smooth pregnancy and childbirth journey, it's advisable to purchase a maternity package from your trusted hospital in Thailand, and at the same time, consider obtaining insurance coverage that covers complications of pregnancy to help mitigate potential costs and ensure access to necessary medical care.
Maternity insurance is vital for expectant parents in Thailand, yet it can be quite expensive. Without this coverage, pregnancy complications may result in unforeseen expenses and financial strain, making it harder to access essential care.
APRIL offers an alternative solution to help you save costs while still being protected. Instead of purchasing an expensive maternity plan, you can opt for our main cover—Hospital & Surgery.
This means you will be covered should any complications arise during your pregnancy, without the added expense of purchasing a separate maternity plan.
Additionally, we offer to add the newborn to the parent's plan, ensuring that the baby is covered from day one for conditions, such as neonatal disabilities, congenital conditions, and hereditary conditions—without the need for medical underwriting. This coverage remains in effect as long as the parent has been insured for at least one year prior, providing peace of mind and protection for both the parent and the newborn.
Preterm birth is a prevalent form of neonatal disability where approximately 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely each year. This coverage can be especially valuable given the high costs associated with Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) care, which can range from THB 4,400 to THB 17,800 per day at Bumrungrad International Hospital in Thailand, for example.
To ensure coverage for all these aspects, it's important to purchase insurance before becoming pregnant. While there's no waiting period for pregnancy complications, you won't be eligible for maternity-related coverage if you're already pregnant.
Most importantly, MyHEALTH Thailand offers the extensive benefits of an international medical insurance plan, combined with the convenience of a local insurance company's easily accessible customer service and direct billing network. This unique combination provides you with comprehensive medical coverage, as well as prompt access to quality healthcare services.
Feel free to get in touch with our advisors to discover more about our solutions that can provide coverage for your maternity expenses. You can explore the full benefits schedule or request a personalised quote for our MyHEALTH Thailand packages today.
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