Medical Malpractice in Thailand

With Thailand being a hotspot for medical tourism, it is crucial to have a successful malpractice policy. Currently, the country lacks a national database and no-fault provision for patients.

As a result, foreign victims of cosmetic surgeries in the country often have to pay for expensive repairs not covered by their home health care plans. A good Thailand lawyer can help you get justice in such cases.

Legal Definition

As Thailand continues to develop its reputation as a medical tourism hub, more dissatisfied patients from failed surgeries and other treatments are filing legal complaints with their Thailand lawyers. The lawsuits typically allege that a doctor or hospital has acted negligently in one way or another. In order to demonstrate malpractice, it must be proved that the treatment received falls below the accepted and established levels of professional medical practice in the jurisdiction in question.

This can include unskilled, inadequate, or neglectful treatment, wrongful diagnosis and failure to warn about possible health risks. Medical malpractice is considered a wrongful act and can be brought up under civil or criminal law.

Doctors in Thailand pay relatively low malpractice insurance rates compared to Western doctors, which helps keep the cost of care down. However, it also means that victims of medical negligence have limited options when seeking compensation. The Thai courts generally gravitate toward limiting general damages to verifiable or actual financial losses, such as expenses and loss of income.

Claims Process

As Thailand has become a popular place for medical tourists to receive surgery and treatment, complaints of malpractice have increased. In fact, some foreign governments whose health care insurance covers overseas surgeries have begun to fight back against medical tourism in Thailand by discouraging their citizens from getting procedures there.

In Thailand, as in most western countries, medical malpractice claims are filed as civil suits and the courts consider whether a doctor or hospital has committed a wrongful act. A claimant’s legal team must be able to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the medical practitioner breached accepted and established standards of medical practice within the jurisdiction.

In addition to establishing the breach, damages must also be proven. The courts tend to award compensation based on verifiable or actual losses which include medical and rehabilitation costs, loss of income, and other tangible expenses. However, a judge may decide to award additional compensation for intangible losses such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium.


In Thailand, the compensation paid to victims of medical malpractice is determined by the courts. The legal system tends to limit general damages for pain and suffering. Compensation will usually comprise the expenses of the plaintiff, and any financial loss, including present and future lost income.

Medical tourism has been a huge boon for Thailand hospitals, whose massive marketing campaigns include news documentaries on Western TV and flashy brochures. However, the success of these hospitals has led to a growing number of dissatisfied patients, many of whom seek redress in a legal system that bears little resemblance to what they would be used to at home.

As a result, many doctors in Thailand, particularly in public hospitals, are afraid to perform experimental procedures that could potentially save lives in the West, out of fear of repercussions from a medical malpractice lawsuit. This has contributed to an understaffed public health system and also caused many doctors to leave medical school or change professions.

Time Limit

Although it’s generally accepted that all surgical procedures carry some degree of risk, there’s a big difference between the accepted risks and gross negligence. When it comes to a clinical negligence claim, you need an expert Thailand medical malpractice lawyer at your side to support you.

Thai law safeguards patients who sustained injury due to malpractice through the Commercial and Civil Code’s tort liability for wrongful acts. In addition, the country’s principle government oversight body for the medical profession keeps statistics concerning doctor misconduct and provides a complaint process.

The court system in Thailand gravitates toward limiting general damages to quantifiable losses, including expenses and financial loss from lost wages. However, it’s improbable that legal proceedings will result in compensation for pain and suffering. The country’s universal healthcare system allows affected patients to file a request for “payment for initial support” which provides compensation without an official admission of wrongdoing by doctors or hospitals. If fraud or concealment is involved, a longer statute of limitations may apply.

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