The British Embassy in Bangkok has again brought up the issue of consular assistance as well as the lack of insurance under expats in Thailand. The message from the Embassy in February 2016 is very similar to the British Assistance abroad publication from the CFO which looks at where and what type of consular assistance if needed abroad.
Thailand and the Philippines are well liked as retirement destination in Asia. They also record some of the highest deaths for aged people. Insurance or the lack there of has always been an issue in Thailand and Asia where very few expats have local insurance in the event of an accident or illness. The Pattaya Expats club had on a number of occasions negotiated with local insurance companies for package deals however many expats have still chosen to ignore these and many other offers.
The retired British expat population has grown to 55,000 Brits, including more than 10,000 retirees; this figure has grown by 45% since 2011. The growth however is more likely to the fact that Thai immigration has made the retirement visa rules more clear and many have opted for an extend retirement visa than the multiple entry visas which they would normally fly back to the UK for to obtain at a Thai Embassy in the UK once a year which is still very common.
Private medical care cost in Thailand is expensive and comparable to European costs. Based on British Embassy figures in 2015, more than 80% of British residents in Thailand over the age of 51 who received consular assistance after being hospitalised did not have medical insurance.
If you are going to retire in Thailand then ensure that you have proper medical assistance as the British Embassy in Bangkok cannot arrange this for you.