The Complete Guide to Getting Telemedicine Service in Thailand

The Complete Guide to Getting Telemedicine Service in Thailand

Did you know that you can get an online consultation with a physical doctor in Thailand and have medications sent directly to your home?

It’s called telemedicine service.

It’s an alternative way of visiting a doctor in Thailand, which is cheaper and more convenient than visiting a hospital in person.

In this article, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about getting telemedicine service in Thailand, including pros, cons, costs, and service providers.

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Key Takeaways

  • You can now use a teleservice app to visit a doctor online.
  • Teleservice is an affordable and convenient way to get a medical consultation.
  • After the consultation, medications will be delivered to your home.
  • Since telemedicine lacks physical examination, the diagnosis may not be as accurate as visiting a hospital in person.

The Overview of Thailand Telemedicine Service

Telemedicine service isn’t new. It has been around for a while but has become more popular because of COVID-19.

During that time, many investors in Thailand developed a telemedicine service application allowing you to choose your own doctor, get a medical consultation online, and receive medications at your home.

Now, telemedicine has become more popular.

For example, the Thailand Universal Coverage, known as the 30-baht program, now requires certain patients to use a telemedicine service instead of visiting the clinic or hospital in person.

And it’s not just for public healthcare. When it comes to private healthcare, there are many telemedicine services available on the market right now.  You can download an application, choose a doctor, and visit a doctor online.

Doctor Quality

Doctors you find in telemedicine applications in Thailand are licensed doctors.

All of them are legitimate doctors currently working in both public hospitals and private hospitals in Thailand.

With telemedicine, you can choose doctor on your own.
In addition to general practitioners and specialists, you can also find psychiatrists in telemedicine.

But you might not be able to find attending doctors (experienced doctors who supervise other doctors in a clinical setting) with telemedicine applications.

For attending doctors, you can mainly find them in premium private hospitals or major public hospitals only.

How to Use Telemedicine Service 

To use telemedicine service as an expat in Thailand, below is what you need to do in general.

Each telemedicine app may have different procedures.

  • Download a telemedicine application on your phone.
  • Complete the registration process by providing your
    • Thai phone number (it’s required for OTP)
    • Full name
    • Date of birth
    • Your current health condition
    • Your current address for receiving medications
  • Choose a doctor. It’s possible to either book an appointment in advance or make an instant consultation.
  • Get an online consultation. An online consultation normally lasts up to 15 minutes. Make sure to explain your sickness in detail as well as prepare all questions you have before seeing a doctor.
  • Pay for the service. Depending on the app you use, credit card and QR code payment via mobile banking are the two most common methods. It’s also possible to pay by health insurance.
  • Medications will be sent to you within 1-2 hours.

Cost

One of my friends recently used a telemedicine service when he had COVID-19.

Here’s how much he needed to pay:

  • Doctor fee: 300 baht
  • Medications: 670 baht

He did a further check with the cost of medications. If he needed to buy them on his own, it would have cost him 520 baht.

list of medications.
At the end of the process, you will get list of medications and how to take them. These medications will be delivered to you within 1-2 hours.

Adding the delivery fee, it can be assumed that the telemedicine service isn’t overcharged on medications. 

Please note that if you want to see a specialist doctor, the doctor fee can be higher. It can range from 500 baht to 1,500 baht.

Best Thailand Telemedicine Apps 

There are many telemedicine applications in Thailand.

However, only a few of them are suitable for expats in Thailand. Here are our top three:

  • Mordee
  • Doctor Anywhere
  • Clicknic

Mordee

Mordee is one of the first telemedicine applications in Thailand.

The app is developed by True Digital Group Co., Ltd, which is basically the same group as True, one of the biggest internet operators in Thailand.

MorDee

You can find over 500 general physicians and specialists with Mordee.

One of the great things about Mordee is that you can quickly see the name of the hospital that each doctor is currently working at. This means, if a doctor is working in a popular private hospital, there’s a high chance that he/she can speak English well.

Doctor Anywhere

Doctor Anywhere, previously called Raksa, is another big telemedicine app. 

DA logo

It’s a multinational app providing telemedicine service in many countries in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

In addition to general physicians and specialists, you can get mental health consultations by psychiatrists throughout Thailand.

Doctor Anywhere lists all the languages that doctors can speak. But you need to check each doctor’s profile individually to see it.

Clicknic 

Clicknic is another big player in the market since it has partnered with the Thailand National Health Security Office (NHSO) to provide telemedicine service to Thai citizens with universal health coverage.

Clicknic

Clicknic has a smaller pool of doctors than Mordee. The app is also not as intuitive.

Additionally, you will be able to see a list of doctors only after you complete an identity verification with your passport.

How to Choose a Telemedicine Doctor

Unlike visiting a hospital in person, you need to choose a doctor yourself when using a telemedicine app.

This is what you should do when choosing a doctor:

  • Check the doctor’s profile in detail to make sure you choose the right doctor for your sickness.
  • If the application doesn’t provide sufficient information, you can search for their profiles in a search engine like Google.
  • Make sure the doctor can speak English. Some applications may list the languages that doctors can speak. If not, choose a doctor who works in a leading private hospital.

Pros

Here are the quick pros of telemedicine service:

  • Convenient: You can see a doctor right away at your home.
  • Cost: It’s very cheap. Normally, when you visit a private hospital, you can expect to pay at least 1,200 baht. With telemedicine, it’s normally less than 1,000 baht.
  • Speed: You can quickly get a medical consultation and receive medications within 1-2 hours.

Cons 

Telemedicine isn’t perfect. There are three main disadvantages.

  • Treatment quality: Since a doctor can only diagnose you online without any vital checks, scans, or seeing your symptoms, the accuracy can be lower than visiting a doctor in person.
  • Only for non-serious sickness: It’s an online consultation which only works for non-serious sicknesses. For emergency or serious sicknesses, it’s still better to visit a hospital.
  • Lack of medical history: When visiting a hospital, your medical history will be kept in detail which helps in further diagnosis. On the other hand, your medical history with telemedicine is only stored temporarily in an application.

Who Should Use the Telemedicine Service? 

According to the National Library of Medicine, telemedicine helps in providing quality care while minimizing treatment costs.

This is also true in Thailand.

Telemedicine service is a good option if you want an affordable way to get treatment quickly.

By seeing a doctor early, it often results in a quicker recovery.

However, for emergency sickness, such as suddenly having serious chest pain or stomach ache, it is a better idea to go straight to a hospital.

Can I Pay with Health Insurance? 

While it’s possible to pay with health insurance, your options are still limited. As of 2024, only a few local insurance companies have direct billing systems set up with telemedicine applications.

In many cases, you need to make a claim later by submitting a medical certificate and receipt.

mordee list of supported insurance.
You can see a listed on supported insurance directly inside a telemedicine app.

However, it’s also a good idea to contact your insurance company in advance to make sure they can pay for telemedicine service in Thailand.

Can I Get a Medical Certificate? 

Yes, you can get a medical certificate with telemedicine. You can request it when making an appointment with a doctor within an application.

Can I Get a Medical Receipt? 

Yes. After a payment, a telemedicine application can issue you a receipt in the form of a pdf.

Telemedicine Service vs Pharmacy 

In addition to telemedicine service, you can simply visit any pharmacy in Thailand and buy medications to treat your sickness immediately.

It’s the most affordable way since you don’t need to pay for any doctor’s consultation fee at all.

However, while a pharmacist can recommend which medications you should buy, they are not a medical doctor and might not be able to give you the right medications based on your symptoms.

Telemedicine Service vs Hospital

A telemedicine service is much more convenient than visiting a hospital in person.

You won’t need to wait at least half a day to see a doctor for a few minutes at a government hospital.

You also don’t need to travel at all since all you need is a smartphone and a good internet connection.

Also, a telemedicine service is much more affordable than visiting a private hospital. It should not cost you over 1,000 baht. On the other hand, a single private hospital visit costs you at least 1,500 baht on average.

However, telemedicine only works for non-serious and non-emergency sicknesses only.

If you want quality treatment from the beginning, it’s better to visit a hospital right away. Also, in case of emergency, always visit a hospital.

Now, on to You

Telemedicine service is another good healthcare option in Thailand. It’s convenient and affordable.

It allows you to get a medical consultation quickly right at your home.

If you have experience getting telemedicine service in Thailand, please share it in our comment section below.

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Saran Lhawpongwad is a Bangkokian by birth. He loves to share what he learns based on his insights living and running business in Thailand. While not at his desk, he likes to be outdoors exploring the world with his family. You can connect with him on his LinkedIn.

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