Hospitals & Clinics
When planning a Southeast Asia trip, most savvy travellers make the customary pre-holiday dash to their local pharmacy to stock up on first aid kit supplies to avoid having to visit a Koh Tao hospital or clinic for anything too minor. With a bit of luck, hopefully it will spend the entirety of your trip wedged into the bottom of your backpack or suitcase and you’ll never need to use it. But if you do need any more advanced medical care, you are in safe hands on Koh Tao.
Most people imagine fairly gnarly medical issues befalling travellers in Thailand – rare tropical diseases, snake bites, malaria, and so on. But in reality, the real medical encounters you are likely to face are much more mundane – a bout of diarrhoea or food poisoning, for example. Plus, the more severe risks are mainly avoidable if you use caution and good judgment – like only renting Koh Tao scooters from a reputable provider, and not renting if you don’t know how to drive one!
Koh Tao has both a government hospital and several private clinics. In most cases, if you need emergency assistance at Koh Tao hospital or any of the clinics, the cost can be reimbursed if you have adequate travel insurance. However, it is generally standard practice for you to pay at the point of treatment, and claim back from your insurance policy at a later date.
Koh Tao hospital and all of the main clinics are well equipped, professional, and have English speaking staff. The vast majority of medical issues can be treated on-island, although evacuation services are available in emergencies when required.
Koh Tao Hospital
The Koh Tao Hospital is well signposted and is located just off the ‘up road’ at the bottom of the hill in Mae Haad, just a couple of minutes’ walk from all of the ferry piers. Services are available to both locals and tourists, and as it is a government-run hospital it tends to be more popular for those on a budget.
Koh Tao hospital is open for accidents and emergencies 24 hours a day, so overnight admissions can be arranged. The hospital has X-ray facilities, antenatal services, and delivery rooms, and also deals with a wide range of other medical needs including dentistry, scuba diving medicals, and disease and epidemic assistance.
Please note that you will need to register and show proof of identification at the main reception in order to be admitted or receive assistance.
There are several private clinics scattered throughout the villages of Sairee, Mae Haad and Chalok Baan Kao, all offering consultations for general illness and injury, and emergency assistance for more severe accidents. Whichever Koh Tao clinic you go to, the doctor’s consult fee is normally around 500THB, plus the cost of whatever treatments, procedures, and medication you need.
The bigger clinics such Koh Tao Physician (run by Dr Chasit) in Sairee and Thai Inter (with impossible to miss locations on the main road in both Sairee and Mae Haad) are open 24 hours a day, but some services may be restricted to particular times of day depending on the doctors’ schedules.
Smaller, more personal clinics can often be less expensive for more minor issues and injuries. The most popular among residents and long term locals are Sai’s Clinic and Pharmacy in Sairee, and Sawassdee Clinic and Chalok Clinic, both of which are in Chalok Baan Kao.
Scuba Diving Medicals
If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you will be required to get a medical sign off before signing up for any scuba diving courses. Scuba diving medical assessments are only available through Koh Tao Hospital or Koh Tao Physician (Dr Chasit) in Sairee.