Category Archives: sarong

Sukhumvit Hospital

Sukhumvit Hospital was the first hospital I visited when I moved Thailand, since I had the required physical for my work permit here. It is a private hospital about a block from the Ekamai BTS station right on Sukhumvit Rd in Bangkok and is easy to find. Like all of the Thai hospitals I know there is a front desk or registration area shortly after you walk in the main door.  The first time you come, they will take your passport and enter you into their system and give you a patient card. I’d also highly recommend getting the membership card, which gives you a 10% discount on medicine and services at the hospital.

At least one of the ladies at the front desk speaks decent English and will direct you to the nurses’ station to have your vitals taken and the correct doctor. If you come after 7pm, the front desk will not be staffed and you will be directed to the Emergency Room. Unfortunately, if your arm is too big for the mechanized blood pressure machine, the nurses here don’t seem to have any interest in taking an accurate blood pressure manually. The doctor may request a larger blood pressure cuff and take your blood pressure manually, but the staff at the nurses station does not seem to have a manual blood pressure taking device or they may not be able to take blood pressure manually. Based on my experience at Sukhumvit Hospital, including spending 2 days as an inpatient, they may only have one larger blood pressure cuff. The nurses on the ward ended up taking my blood pressure at my ankle. Getting an accurate blood pressure read in Thailand is remarkably difficult if your arm doesn’t fit in the automated machine. Most of the staff doesn’t seem to realize that taking blood pressure over and over again leads to a distorted reading also.

Like all of the hospitals I’ve been in in Thailand so far, there is free bottled water at various stations where you may wait and scattered large screen TVs in the waiting areas. The English of the staff varies from none to fair and the English of the doctors’ is fair to good.

Other than the blood pressure problem, which is more or less the same everywhere I’ve been in Thailand, the only other size related problem I had was with the hospital scrubs/gowns.

I was admitted to Sukhumvit Hospital for pneumonia and had to have a chest X-ray. The wrap and tie style shirt they gave me to change into was barely big enough and I ended up mostly holding it closed. But the scrubs they provided when I moved into the room were not big enough. There was a loop of fabric that was a part of the sheet set that I commandeered for a tube sarong that fit beautifully though. I thought this was the best hospital wear ever, since it was super comfy and there was no gapping, but the orderlies were distressed since it wasn’t proper clothing and didn’t cover my arms (which is important for modesty in Thailand). However, they couldn’t find a larger size of scrubs, so that’s what I wore. When I changed the second day, I had to do the same point and shrug explanation with the new orderlies, but we all survived.

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