CBS news online edition had a story about the cost of singleton births versus twins and the numbers were pretty sobering. The story says a normal delivery costs an average of $21,000 while twins cost $105,000 and multiple births beyond twins skyrocket even further. I thought those numbers were pretty high, even for the normal delivery of a single baby. So I checked over at Healthcare Blue Book and they say the average fair price for a normal delivery is $6,152. That’s a far cry from the cost CBS is quoting. I wonder who is closer to the true average cost of a normal delivery.
Regardless, my interest is mainly in how the U.S. prices compare to prices at Thailand’s private hospitals. Although some of the major hospitals post prices for typical procedures it isn’t always easy to find them. Bumrungrad Hospital is probably the best when it comes to making medical procedure prices easy to find on their website. They have their Real Cost section of the site but also link over to their packages and promotions. They currently offer a normal delivery package for 59,900 Thai baht, which is about US$1,930 at today’s exchange rate. Considering Bumrungrad is usually among the most expensive of Thai private hospitals, that gives a pretty good indication of the massive differential in cost between the U.S. and Thailand, and we are talking about top shelf care with luxury appointments at Bumrungrad.
It is possible with a little Googling to find samples of somewhat recent costs at other hospitals. For example, in August 2012 one forum poster used St.Louis, known to be rather pricey by Thai standards, for 3 nights with a C-section and with everything included in came to 47,000 Thai baht. Seems rather cheap compared to the 93,000 baht that Bumrungrad quotes for a C-section. Maybe St. Louis doesn’t deserve the high price reputation, or maybe Bumrungrad pricing really is spiraling.
Elsewhere there has been mention of a complete package of pre and post natal care and C-section at Samitivej (also known for its high prices) was 100,000 bath. At Bangkok Christian Hospital a C-section and three nights in the hospital was 60,000 baht. A lesser known (among non-Thais) medical center called BCare Medical Center which has a comprehensive pre and post natal package with normal delivery for 24,900 baht. The link is here, although the page is only in Thai even when you click on the link for English so they aren’t helping themselves with attracting foreign patients.