Some Hospitals Apply ‘Farang Pricing’ for Coronavirus Testing

Photo: Matichon

Update: Ramathibodi Hospital stopped providing Covid-19 testing 4:30pm March 20 due to a shortage of test kits.

BANGKOK — At least two hospitals in Bangkok are charging foreigners more for coronavirus tests, a survey found on Monday.

While the vast majority of hospitals surveyed by Khaosod English apply the same fees to Thais and foreigners in their testing, Ramathibodi and Paolo Phaholyothin hospitals charge foreigners by about 40 percent more than Thai nationals.

But regardless of nationalities, coronavirus testing fees in Bangkok generally cost in the thousands. The price is considered so steep that Roongreung Kitpati, an advisor to the Ministry of Health, said Sunday that those without symptoms or at-risk travel history should refrain from getting checkups, which could overcrowd hospitals and use up test kits.

“If you aren’t sick, please don’t get tests because it’s useless and wastes money. Most tests yield negative results. But if you are in an at-risk group, such as contact with the infected, please contact the Department hotline,” Roongreung said.

Many hospitals will also only provide Covid-19 testing if the person has symptoms such as fever over 37.5C, cough, runny rose, respiratory problems, and if they have travel history to an at-risk country, are in contact with someone who returned from such a country or currently has the virus, or are a medical personnel who is in close contact to the infected.

Here are the costs if you do get a coronavirus test at a hospital:

Public/University Hospitals

  • Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital: Tests are 3,000 – 6,000 baht, same price for foreigners. Admission available. 
  • Ramathibodi Hospital: Due to limited test kits, testing will only be given to those with Covid-19 symptoms. Tests cost 5,000 baht for Thais, 7,000 baht to foreigners. UPDATE: Covid-19 tests unavailable as of March 20 due to a shortage of test kits.
  • Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital: Does not provide Covid tests unless patients already have Covid-19 symptoms. The hospital said they cannot determine the price for a test, since they can only be prescribed by doctors. 
  • Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute: Tests cost 8,000 – 14,000 baht, but may be free depending on the doctors’ discretion. 

Private Hospitals

  • Ramkhamhaeng Hospital: 6,500 baht for a Drive Thru service where doctors will swab your nose and throat. Medical results will be sent through text messages within eight hours. Same price for both Thais and foreigners. Book via their Facebook, though the service is fully booked through Thursday.
  • Vichaiyut Hospital: 7,500 baht, not including any prescribed medicine. Same price for Thai and foreigners, but tests are reserved for those showing symptoms.

  • Bangkok Christian Hospital: 8,200 – 10,000 baht. Same price for Thais and foreigners.

  • St. Louis Hospital: 8,000 baht but will only test those showing Covid-19 symptoms. Same price for Thais and foreigners.

  • Phyathai 2 Hospital: 6,500 baht, but will have additional service fees. Same price for Thais and foreigners.

  • Phyathai 3 Hospital: Same price as Phyathai 2, but will only test on those with symptoms or recent travel to at-risk countries.
  • Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital: Will not say how much a test costs. Tests can only be prescribed by doctors, no walk-in check ups available. 

  • Samitivej Hospital Thonburi: 8,000 – 10,000 baht, same price for foreigners.

  • Bumrungrad International Hospital: 10,500 baht for those with no Covid-19 symptoms, test results available within 48 hours. Those with symptoms pay 7,500 – 18,500 baht, but the hospital will not admit Covid-19 patients. They will be sent to other hospitals.

  • Paolo Phaholyothin Hospital: 5,000 baht for Thais, 7,000 baht to foreigners.

  • PatRangsit Hospital: 8,000 baht for both Thais and foreigners.

  • Praram 9 Hospital: 10,000 baht for patients with symptoms, 8,000 baht for those without. Same price for Thais and foreigners.

  • Mongkutwattana Hospital: 6,000 baht for both Thais and foreigners. 

Covid-19 Tests Unavailable At:

  • BNH Hospital
  • Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
  • Bangkok Hospital
  • Siriraj Hospital
  • Rajavithi Hospital; but treats patients sent via the Department of Disease Control for free. 

In the chances that you test positive for the coronavirus and wish to use your social security benefits, contact the Department of Disease Control hotline at 1422, who will then redirect patients for treatment at three state hospitals: Chulalongkorn Memorial, Rajavithi, and Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute.