Advice on Very ill in Thailand
HI. My uncle, aged approx 75 has lived in Pattaya Thailand for the last 20 or so years.
He recently has had a second stroke, and is left with his voice box paralised, and half his body paralised. He is all there "up there". He is obviously quite low, with very little contact with British people. Prior to this he was a party animal and as you can imagine, he's really low and desperate.
My father (70 years old) has spent the last week in Pattaya assessing the situation which is how I know what state he's in.
He has 2 thai girl carers, provided by the hospital he was in, neither of whom speak English, and he is apparantly very low and even asking them to push him off of the balcony. When I phone him, he can't speak, and they don't speak English, so its hard to find out how he is.
We are looking at the options for what to do next. Money is obviously an issue, as the sort of care he needs in the UK is going to be more than he or we can afford. If he were to stay around Pattaya Thailand, does anyone know if there is a residential care centre for the elderly who aren't mobile? He was in the Bangkok Pattaya hospital, but what he needs now is aftercare.
Does anyone know what, if anything he would be entitled to in the UK regarding benefits/medical etc if he were to return??
Is there anyone english speaking in Pattaya who could visit him every now and again to chat away to him a bit and cheer him up??
I am a single mum with a yound daughter at school, and live in France, so there is nothing I can do, and I am worried for my dad too as it seems alot for him to take on. He has to return to the Uk on the 15th as he is still working.
Any advice/help much appreciated
I am sorry I cannot help you at all, but I read your story with some sympathy - I wish you well in finding a solution. I do expect if he returns to the UK, with UK citizenship then he will receive care c/o the NHS. There are stories of people from the EU coming to the UK who have never worked here and enjoying free health care, so why not your uncle if he was a citizen in the first place. Maybe NHS direct, a local government body, GP or even a hospital could help you and advise on that? Sure you can find the details on line. You can find NHS Direct - Health & Medical Information or call 0845 4647 for details.
Have you tried contacting the hospital to see what can be done to get him English-speaking help? Have you contacted the UK consulate? Consulates sometimes maintain lists of service-providing organizations. If you have no luck, and know an Australian, ask them to contact their consulate, because they tend to have more lists.
If you do bring him back to the UK, you should verify for sure what services he would get. Would he get 24 hour caretaker service at home, or would he be institutionalized? One of the advantages of being in Thailand is that personal care is affordable. Given what he is facing, most of the problem is going to come from his dealing with his reduced capacity, rather than not being able to communicate in English.
I moved the thread hear so some of our excellent Thailand residents will see your post.
[QUOTE=synthia;63473]I moved the thread hear so some of our excellent Thailand residents will see your post.[/Q
I have contacted the various helplines in the UK as to what would be available, but they are pretty cagey and it would all depend on his personal assessement. Apparantly if you haven't lived in the uk for the last 12 months, despite being a uk citizen, you aren't entitled to nhs care atall. With regards to social services, they may look into your N>I. contributions (of which he made few if any), so it all depends on the luck of the drawer as to how sympathetic or not they want to be.
So nothing in the UK is certain atall in that regard.
The reasons I would like to try and see if the hospital are able to provide an English speaking carer is that I can't communicate with him on the phone as to how well he is doing, nor do I speak thai. In addition, I think it would be good for him to hear some English.
Anyway, he has now stabilised over night following the recent attack and I am waiting to hear from my father as to whether he regains full conciousness when he awakes.
The major international hospitals generally have a team of social workers for whom this type of issue is probably not unusual.
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital - is a branch of the 14-hospital (might be more these days) association of Bangkok Hospital. Whether that local hospital would have much of a social services department, I don't know - but it might be worth your while to just call Bangkok Hospital direct, ask for the social services department (and an English speaker of course) and see where it goes from there.
If Bangkok Hospital can't help you sort it out - you might also try calling the social services department at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok. I am not sure that it will matter what hospital he was treated.
Inexpensive long-term care for the elderly is an issue in ANY country, but any good social worker at those two international hospitals, should have a nice Rolodex of contacts in the major cities - and, being international hospitals - I imagine that language would be something they pay attention to.
Good luck - it's not easy right on the scene, so sorting it out from a distance is probably not going to be easy. Unless, of course, your father helps to facilitate things (sounds like he will though).
Try Bumrungrad International Hospital | World-class Bangkok Hospital in Thailand for Medical Tourism
for a start. Bumrungrad, if I recall correctly, is/was JCAH accredited (the same Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Hospitals that certify hospitals in the USA) and my guess would be that they are required to have a well-qualified social services department.
Bangkok Hospital may well meet the same requirements - I just don't personally know about the accreditation.
Thanks. He has now been transferred out of the Bankok hospital as nobody has the money to continue paying their fees, and in addition they wouldn't agree to not resussitate which from what I understand was his wish prior to this relapse.Now he is not showing any signs of being aware of anyone or anything going on around him, and my dad thinks he should be allowed to die naturally as was his wish.
We are concerned that if he were to regain conciousness and to find himself in what sounds like a pretty horrible enviroment, it would be distressing. Apparantly there is a hospital which has private rooms and is about 20 pounds a night, but it is normally for non whites, and so we won't know till monday if they will accept him. He has tubes coming out of him so a care home wouldn't be suitable right now as he needs medical care.
Anyway, I'll pass on the info re social services, but what he needs right now is an inexpensive hospital which is a bit decent incase he does recover.
My father has to leave thailand early next week as he has a job to get back to, so he is doing what he can over the next few days.
Thanks for the advice
I was going to suggest Bangkok Nursing Home. While it would not be as expensive as the UK, I don't believe, it will cost a bit. But they will be able to give you a rate.
BNH Hospital Thailand
Thanks very much - I'll look into it. At the moment he can't leave hospital as he still has a tube feeding him.
This is something that we all fear.......
If you are sick in Thailand and have no money, they will simply let you die.
Unless you are lucky enough to have a loving caring Lady to look after you.
I have heard many instances of them disappearing incidentally when the cash was no longer forthcoming!
I inquired a while ago as to what would happen NHSwise if one returned to the UK, and was told that it was up to the Doctor. If you can find a quack who will take you on, you are able to get free treatment......well that is what the NHS inquiry line said.
My heart goes out to anybody in this old man's state. God Bless him.
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