ATTENTION! The following information is meant for people who are registered with Thailand UNHCR and have a valid UNHCR card:
UNHCR does not provide direct medical services to asylum-seekers and refugees, but there are several options for assistance and support, including:
- Tzu Chi Clinic
- Private and public hospitals in Thailand
Since most refugees and asylum seekers will use Tzu Chi Clinic or go directly to Thai hospitals, please be sure to review what each organization can provide (see below) and whether there is support for needed treatment. ⬇️
What do BRC health services cover? ⬇️
BRC Medical Unit can assist UNHCR registered refugees and asylum seekers with the following:
- Counselling on medical issues and access to medical care
- Support for major surgery and other medical interventions for life threatening conditions. (Cost and treatment must be pre-approved by UNHCR-BRC Health Panel)
- Covers set costs for delivery of the first child in Thailand. See the section below on “What medical support is there for pregnancy and childbirth” for more information on pregnancy and delivery support.
- Support for hospitalization at public hospitals of children under 5 years old.
- Distribution of condoms free of charge to all refugees.
- Accompaniment to hospitals and interpreter support for hospital visits (on a case-by-case basis and as agreed with BRC)
- Other free services provided at BRC for refugees and asylum seekers include psychosocial counselling, health education, mobile dental care and family planning.
⚠️ Except for some emergencies, only medical treatments/assistance that were pre-approved by the Health Panel can be reimbursed.
What does Tzu Chi Foundation Clinic cover? ⬇️
Tzu Chi Foundation is an independent and separate organization from UNHCR. Whether or not they can support your case will be up to their final decision according to their established guidelines, policies and criteria. Please follow their guidance and recommendation for assistance.
- Tzu Chi Clinic has primary care doctors who provide direct in-person or remote Telemedicine consultations and assistance.
- Tzu Chi Clinic can make referrals and cover some outpatient medical care expenses, including medications. However, patients must first be assessed and approved by a Tzu Chi doctor.
- To register with Tzu Chi Clinic, you must present your UNHCR card or a valid passport.
⚠️ If you wish to receive medical assistance or reimbursement from the Tzu Chi Clinic, please contact them to consult about your conditions and medical reimbursement criteria before getting outside medical treatment. Only pre-approved medical treatments/assistance can be reimbursed, except for some medical emergencies.
Can I receive medical treatment at a public and private hospitals? ⬇️
Asylum-seekers and refugees can access medical care at Thai government hospitals and private hospitals.
Hospitals require an identification document for registration. While most hospitals will request a passport, some hospitals may register the patient based on a UNHCR card. Please contact BRC Medical Unit for any questions.
Costs of medical care vary widely. Government hospitals are generally more affordable than private hospitals. As noted above, except in some emergency cases, reimbursement from BRC or Tzu Chi Foundation Clinic for hospital costs requires pre-approval.
What medical support is there for pregnancy and childbirth? ⬇️
It is important that you and your baby get medical checks and any needed treatment early in your pregnancy and that you know what kind of support you can access for the delivery.
➡️ For any questions or concerns, please contact BRC for medical counselling.
Medical care for you and the baby while you are pregnant (antenatal care):
- Tzu Chi Foundation (TCF) can support antenatal care for your first or second pregnancy. You will first need to get a medical certificate confirming your pregnancy. If you have difficulties getting this certificate, please contact BRC Medical Unit.
- If this is your third or more child, BRC or Tzu Chi Foundation cannot cover costs. Please contact BRC for possible referrals to other organizations that may be able to help.
⚠️ BRC can only refer to another organization if you have a medical certificate from a hospital confirming your pregnancy.
Support for delivery costs:
- Through its partner BRC, UNHCR can provide financial support for child delivery only if this is your first pregnancy in Thailand.
The maximum support for normal delivery is THB 8,000, and for a caesarean section, THB 15,000.
- Tzu Chi Foundation will only provide financial support for child delivery for your second pregnancy.
- If this is your third or more child, costs cannot be covered by BRC or Tzu Chi Foundation. Please contact BRC for possible referrals to other organizations that may be able to help.
⚠️ BRC can only make referrals to other organizations if you have a medical certificate from a hospital confirming your pregnancy.
Medical counselling and support:
- Medical counselling and information: BRC can counsel on available support provided by UNHCR or other organizations. Counselling includes:
- Recommendations of public hospitals close to your home,
- Medical information on how to take care of yourself and your baby during and after your pregnancy, including information on vaccines for newborns.
- Guidance on how to obtain birth registration documents for your newborn child.
- Medical interpretation: BRC can provide interpreters for phone or on-site appointments at the hospital. Due to the high demand for such requests, make sure to ask for this service at least one week before your appointment date.
- Experiencing problems or complications: BRC can make home visits during and/or after your pregnancy to monitor your condition and give you medical advice.
- Family planning: BRC can counsel on options for contraceptive procedures at a public hospital and provide financial support for these. Condoms are also available for free at BRC.
- Birth certificate: BRC can assist with preparing the information needed for the hospital birth notice and birth certificate, including translation of identity documents required by the District Office to issue the birth certificate. Contact BRC for more information on this process.
To request reimbursements from UNHCR or any other organization, UNHCR strongly recommends that you keep all medical certificates related to your pregnancy and child delivery. All organizations will require an original copy of the documents to process the reimbursement.
How do I get reimbursed for medical treatments? ⬇️
Please review the services and criteria for BRC and Tzu Chi Clinic explained in the sections “What do BRC health services cover?” and “What does Tzu Chi Foundation Clinic cover?”. Generally, reimbursements are only given for pre-approved medical costs.
If the Tzu Chi doctor decides that you need out-patient medical care (this can be tests, specialized doctors, or medication) that Tzu Chi Clinic cannot provide, the Tzu Chi Clinic will refer you to a hospital for the needed care. You will have to pay at the hospital but can ask for reimbursement from Tzu Chi Clinic.
**TZU CHI CLINIC WILL ONLY REIMBURSE CASES THAT WERE REFERRED TO THE HOSPITAL BY TZU CHI CLINIC**
If you pay for medical treatment that Tzu Chi Clinic did not refer you for, you will not be reimbursed.
However, if you require urgent medical attention that cannot wait, contact Tzu Chi as soon as possible to inform them, and they will determine if reimbursement can be made.
If your doctor recommends in-patient medical services (this usually means major medical interventions and that you have to spend at least one night at the hospital), please contact BRC Medical Unit before scheduling any in-patient procedures. BRC will review your case and let you know if the costs can be covered by BRC.
Not all in-patient costs can be covered.
If you have a medical emergency and you have to go to the hospital, please contact Tzu Chi Clinic and BRC Medical Unit as soon as you can and explain the urgency of your situation.
BRC and Tzu Chi Clinic can let you know if emergency medical costs can be reimbursed. If the fees cannot be covered by BRC or Tzu Chi Clinic, BRC Medical Unit may be able to negotiate a discount with the hospital.
➡️ Please contact the Medical Unit at BRC or Tzu Chi clinic for more information.
Where can I get vaccinated? ⬇️
Contact BRC for information and support for children’s vaccines.
Free covid-19 vaccines are now widely available in Thailand to anyone, regardless of legal status. If you have any questions about where to get vaccinated, please contact BRC.