Thailand Medical Volunteers
2-8 weeks from £749
- Educate villagers about hygiene and health issues
- Experience authentic ways of life in a rural Thai village
- Assist Thai medical staff with vital medical work in the area (Dependant on current experience/qualifications)
- Gain an understanding of medical practice in Thailand and learn new skills
- Stay in a volunteer house and get to know like-minded volunteers
- Relax and explore during your time off from the project!
Volunteer with a nursing and medical project that assists villagers in rural and poor parts of Thailand. Mainly based in a small village of around 7,000, the healthcare centre is the first port of call for most of the community and treats a large number of people most weeks. You will get to experience the life of a rural Thai village whilst getting involved with helping local staff diagnose and treat patients. This is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference while gaining excellent medical experience that’ll make your CV stand out from the crowd. Plus, you can use your free weekends to explore Thailand, or even hop over the border into Cambodia!
Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!
What to expect at the project
When you first arrive into Thailand, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodation in Bangkok, where you’ll stay for two nights. Spend your time here exploring, settling into Thai culture and enjoy a guided tour that’ll take in the biggest and best sights of this incredible Southeast Asian city.
On your third day in Thailand, you’ll be transferred to Surin where your project is based. The journey from Bangkok to Surin will take approximately 6-7 hours, and you will usually travel by train. On arrival, you will be shown your accommodation and receive a full briefing about your volunteer placement. The following day, you’ll meet the staff and at the medical project.
Day in the life
You will be working Monday- Thursday, 9am until 3pm. Fridays and weekends are free. Typically, your days will be filled with assisting the local medical staff in conducting general health checks, educating villagers about health and remaining healthy, participating in the school health check program including educating young students about the importance of basic hygiene, packing the medications and medical materials and observing the role of the clinic and who is working there. If you are fully qualified, you may also get involved with diagnosing of illnesses and treatment and assisting with occasional dressing of wounds although this is of course subject to the agreement of the Thai professionals on site and their patients.
Typical volunteer tasks may include the following:
- Conducting general health checks with the villagers including weight, height and waist measurements.
- Participating in the Hypertension Clinic; focusing on blood pressure, weight and BMI
- Participating in the Diabetics Clinic; screening patients for what is a more and more common challenge in the community
- Helping educate the villagers about health challenges and remaining healthy. Common areas focused on are Dengue Fever, Hand Foot and Mouth Program and Birth Control Program.
- Joining home visits
- Assessment of child development in the community
- Participating in the school health check program including educating young students about the importance of basic hygiene
- Wound dressing, suture, Injection
- Assisting with clinics at the local temple, running health checks for the monks
Please note: You must have studied in a medical field for at least one year and have practical experience to be eligible for this programme.
Purpose and aim of the programme and how do you benefit the programme
This project is an on-going government healthcare centre that provides medical assistance to villagers in rural and poor parts of a rapidly developing country.
The centres that we work with provide medical treatment and education to rural communities in Thailand. Without these centres villagers would not have any medical assistance.
Please note that treatments and medication may from time to time be different from that which you are used to. However, the staff at the centre are experts in the setting where they are and one must be careful not to assume that because we treat something differently in the ‘West’ that that is necessarily the right way to operate in a rural setting in Thailand.
This is a challenging program but one offering a real insight into the life of a Thai village and the health issues within for volunteers with the right approach and willingness to be led by the local team. The nursing and general medical projects are becoming more and more popular as many qualified medical and nursing professionals and students, of all ages and in various stage of their training, are using this to both gain experience and also to gain college/Uni credit.
You’ll come out of the project with fantastic practical experience in a professional medical setting. You’ll gain an insight into medicine around the world, and you’ll have made a real difference in the lives of local people.
- Arrival airport transfer
- 2 nights’ accommodation in Bangkok on arrival
- Guided tour of Bangkok
- Breakfast in Bangkok
- Train transfer from Bangkok to Surin
- Medical volunteering placement
- Accommodation in volunteer house in Surin
- Assistance from local coordinator
- Transport between accommodation and project location
- 24-hour emergency support
- International Flights
- Travel Insurance
- Most meals
- Optional activities
- Return transfer
Your first two nights in Thailand will be spent in a comfortable hostel near Khao San Road in Bangkok.
You will then be transferred to Surin, where you will be staying in one of several shared volunteer houses in a multi-share room. You will usually share with 3-5 people in a room. Beds, bedding and storage are included, and Wi-Fi is available.
The houses are basic but have self-catering facilities including a hob, sink, toaster, kettle, fridge and utensils, as well as communal living space. You will be staying near local amenities such as supermarkets and restaurants, where you can buy ingredients or eat out.
Meals are not included in the programme, however, eating out is incredibly cheap in Thailand. It is just a short walk to one of the many local restaurants where a meal can be purchased for as little as 100 baht (around £1.80). We recommend budgeting approximately £7-8 per day for food and drink.
You will need to arrange your flight to Thailand to arrive at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) on your programme start date between the hours of 6am and 10pm; we recommend that you arrive before 3pm, if possible. You will need to make your own way back to Bangkok at the end of your trip, the journey takes 6-7 hours by train; if you wish to fly on your programme end date please arrange a flight that departs late in the evening on your programme end date or the day after to allow enough time to travel back to Bangkok.
The minimum age to participate in this volunteer programme is 19 years old.
All applicants are expected to be qualified in a profession in the healthcare field, or studying in the healthcare field at undergraduate level or above, at a registered institution in their home country. Applicants are required to have completed at least 1 year of study and have some practical experience. If you are unsure whether you meet the requirements please contact us for more information.
British nationals can enter Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa. If you intend to stay longer than 30 days, you need to get the 60-day or 90-day visa before you go directly through the Thai Embassy.
DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)
On this particular programme, as you’ll be working with children, you’ll need to undergo an enhanced DBS check and will need to have a clean criminal record.
DBS checks may list past convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings, and if applicable will show whether or not you have been barred from working with certain vulnerable groups. Non-conviction information such as fixed penalties may also be included.
There is an additional cost for the DBS check, please speak to your travel advisor at the time of booking. The DBS process is in three stages:
1. Once we receive your booking payment, you will then be sent an online application link for the DBS check, which you will need to complete.
2. Once you have completed the application, the DBS will need verification of your identity – to do this you will need to take three original documents to your nearest crown post office and use their DBS and ID verification service. This costs approximately £5 and is payable directly to the Post Office.
3. It can take up to two weeks for your DBS to be processed, which will be sent to you directly in the post.
What Is Surin Like?
Surin is located in the area of north east Thailand known as Esaan. The province of Surin is home to approximately 1.4 million people with approximately 40,000 living in the main city centre area. Surin offers visitors the best hospitality Thailand has to offer. The area is largely untouched by tourism and as so the way of life remains honest, safe and fun. Visitors to Surin can expect a very warm welcome from the locals of all ages.
Do I Need To Have Medical Qualification Or Experience To Join This Programme?
Yes, all applicants are expected to have completed, or be currently studying in the healthcare field at an undergraduate level or above, at a registered institution in their home country. Applicants need to have completed at least 1 year of study and have practical experience. Please contact us for more information on eligibility requirements for this programme.
What Can I Do During My Time Off?
You can explore the beautiful surroundings of Surin and relax. If you fancy travelling further afield, try Khao Yai National Park, one of Thailand's most rewarding reserves or alternatively the beautiful island of Ko Samet on the east coast is the perfect place to spend a relaxing weekend. Cambodia is also close enough for you to visit on a long weekend.
Do I Need Any Vaccinations?
As we are not medically trained we cannot give you medical advice. You must make an appointment to see your GP or travel nurse who will be able to give you the best and most up to date travel health advice and more information about vaccinations.
Do I Need To Take A Mosquito Net?
This is up to you, they aren't provided but if you take care of the room and close the windows etc then you shouldn't need to take a net with you.
Will There Be A Safe/safety Deposit Box Available?
Yes, there will be somewhere for you to keep your valuables.