Back in 2019, a Dutchman sued the Ministry of Public Health over dual pricing at Hua Hin Hospital.
The Dutchman complained and alleged he was overcharged for his cancer treatment cost because he was a foreigner.
The man alleged a Thai hospital in Hua Hin ripped him off because he argued that he was a foreigner and should be charged the same as Thais. He had prostate cancer at the time and required treatment.
He says the hospital should charge him 50 baht, not 300 baht, for his visits every three months. And they should not have added 15% to his bills.
After about 2 years of complaining, he filed a formal complaint to the police. He would receive more than 20,000 baht (about $650 USD) from the Hua Hin Hospital and the Thai Department of Public Health. Thai media said the Dutchman has no job, and his Thai wife works in a salon.
This is why we strongly believe why Thai immigration and the Thai authority do not want low-income foreigners living long-term in the country.
Expat Sue: Claimed Dual Pricing Is Unconstitutional
As of last week, the Dutchman and his case were back in the media. This time Thai media reported the Dutchman described this as unconstitutional in his suit.
According to news reports, the Thai court stated the higher rates paid by foreigners using government-run hospitals were good for the nation.
The Dutchman argues that equal protection is guaranteed under the Thai constitution, which is violated by dual pricing, and the Ministry’s regulations state that hospital pricing should be based on the real cost of treatment.
Thailand Legalized Dual Price In Public Hospitals
However, on September 30, 2019, government-run hospitals in Thailand implemented new guidelines that included a four-tier price structure depending on a patient’s legal status.
There are now 4 different pricing categories of patients for the public hospitals, also known as government-run hospitals. This does not include private or international hospitals. In private or international hospitals, everyone pays the same.
The 4 different pricing categories of patients are,
1. Thai Nationals
2. Foreigners from neighbouring countries
3. Foreigners working or studying in Thailand
4. Foreign retirees and tourists
This new guideline makes it legal for government-run hospitals to charge foreigners more. Before a foreigner in Thailand can go to a public hospital, they could get the same cost as Thais.
Expat Can Still Pay The Same Price As Thais
If you do not want to pay more than locals, please use the private or international hospitals because everyone pays the same. Government-run hospitals are meant to serve Thais, but foreigners can use them too.
The Dutchman wanted to appeal and told Thai news media the court acted in the Ministry of Public Health’s best interest.
Which means this case is not going to end yet.
Again, if this Dutchman or anyone wants to pay the same as local Thais, please use private or international hospitals.
How much would it cost for his cancer treatment if he was still in Netherland? Netherland has a universal healthcare system, but Thailand is not the Netherland. Maybe he should have flown back to his home country and not have to pay a dime for his healthcare.
Also, if the Dutchman believes the Thai court will rule in his favour. It will mean any foreigners in the country may go ahead and sue any establishments that have dual pricing, and the foreigners would win. Why would a Thai court want that to happen?
We think this Dutchman is silly, believing he can win this case. But what do you think? Do you think he has a chance when he appeals? Leave your comment below.
We also disagree that the Thai court acted in the Ministry of Public Health’s best interest. We believe the Thai court acted in the best interests of the Thais. Because there are long lines in the government-run hospitals, if more foreigners are using them, there will be longer lineups for Thais to get their health service. There are many low-income as well as middle-income Thais that rely on government-run hospitals. But what do you think?