Siam Dive n Sail Phuket Thailand

dive@siamdivers.com

Thailand Travel Advice: Emergencies

Health Considerations

Since Thailand is a tropical country, certain unique health problems must be considered. Check with your own health department before you leave home. Malaria and other mosquito-born diseases are only a problem in out-of-the-way places like the jungles of northern Thailand, islands near the Cambodian border, and the Mergui Archipelago. However, it is only a problem if you are spending a lot of time on shore in these places and not on a dive boat. You do not need to take malaria tablets in the Mergui Archipelago unless you're camping or staying onshore somewhere.

We do suggest that a good supply of mosquito repellent, sun cream, and a hat are purchased either here or at home and they should be used. Sand flies are a bother in Mergui as well. They are not a problem in Thailand for whatever reason.

Bottled water is widely available and you are well advised to drink only this type. Tap water is rarely if ever clean enough for Western stomachs. All water served in hotels, guest houses, restaurants, and dive boats is bottled-usually coming from large 20-liter containers to help control the plastic waste problems. If in doubt, ask.

Health care in Thailand is widely available and inexpensive. Most first-aid supplies are easily purchased virtually everywhere. Any prescription medicine, of course, should be brought from home whenever possible.

Diving Emergencies

While there are many working recompression chambers in Thailand, there is no air evacuation, at least on any reliable basis. Therefore, transport time can be very lengthy, depending on your location. Even in the Similan Islands, which is relatively close to the chamber in Phuket, evacuation may take six-hours or more; more distant areas will take even longer. Considering the lengthy transport times, it should go without saying to dive conservatively; do everything you can to avoid a dive accident. The boat or dive center you are diving with will have emergency information with them, but it's not a bad idea to write down the emergency numbers below or print this page.

Phuket:

Badalveda Diving Medicine Center
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
2/1 Hongyok Utis Road, Phuket 8300
Tel: +66 (0) 76-254-425; Fax: +66 (0) 76-254-597

SSS NETWORK / Phuket
Hyperbaric Services of Thailand
44/1 Moo 5, Chalermprakiat Ror 9 Vichit, Muang
83000 Phuket, Thailand
Phone +66 76 209 347
Fax: +66 76 612 660
Please Note: Normal Clinic Hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
24 Hour Emergency Phuket Mobile Number: +66 (0) 898 712 335

Khao Lak

SSS NETWORK / Khao Lak
Hyperbaric Services of Thailand
29/32 Moo 7, Petkasem Rd, Khuk Khak,
Takuapa, Phang-Nga
Thailand 82190
Phone: +66 (0)76 423 812
Fax: +66 (0)76 423 813 Please Note: Normal Clinic Hours are: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
24 Hour Emergency Mobile Numbers: +66 (0) 6 283 1941 or +66 (0) 9 871 4302

Krabi

SSS NETWORK / Krabi
Hyperbaric Services of Thailand
136 Moo 3 Klong Haeng Rd.
Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand 81000
Phone: + 66 (0) 81 956 0120
Please Note: During high season, Normal Clinic Hours are, Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
24 Hour Emergency Mobile Numbers: +66 ( 81) 956 0120 or +66 (0) 987 12335

Bangkok:

Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Center
Bangkok General Hospital
2 Soi Soonvijai 7, New Petchburi Road
Bangkok 10320
Phone: +66 (0)2-310-3000

Koh Tao:

SSS Network Koh Tao Facility
Hyperbaric Services of Thailand
9/16 Moo 2 Mae Haad Square
Tambon, Koh Tao, Thailand 84280
Phone/Fax: + 66 (0)77 456 572
Please Note: Normal Clinic Hours are: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM THA, +07 UTC
24 Hour Emergency Koh Tao Numbers: +66 (0) 77 456 572 or +66 (0) 81 083 0533

Koh Samui:

Badalveda Diving Medicine Center
Bangkok Hospital Samui
56 Mu 3, Taweerat Phakdee Road, Chaweng Beach, Samui
Tel: +66 (0) 77-429-500

SSS NETWORK / Samui
Hyperbaric Services of Thailand
34/8 Moo 4 Bophut
Koh Samui, Surat Thani, Thailand 84320
Phone: +66 (0)77 427 427
Please Note: Normal Clinic Hours are: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, 7 days a week
24 Hour Emergency Mobile Number: +66 (0) 81 084 8485

Pattaya:

Bangkok Hospital Pattaya
Suhkumvit Road, Km. 143, Pattaya City, Chonburi
Phone: +(66 (0) 38 259 999 #5271-74

Note: Keep in mind that private chambers charge over $800 US per hour for treatment, so insurance must be purchased before traveling. Government operated chambers charge much less, but are only in the Bangkok Area. Dive insurance is purchased very inexpensively through DAN (insurance is available worldwide) and well worth it in case of a problem, real or perceived. See more about DAN below. Another company which sells diving accident insurance is Divemaster in the UK. It pays to look around to find the best deal. Check with your own insurance company first of course to make sure you don't have unneeded duplicate coverage.

Please note that despite rumors to the contrary, insurance is NOT available through SSS in Phuket or anywhere else except for Open Water students. They are a private business and charge for their services. You must have your own insurance to cover costs, whether the dive center is a "member" of the chamber organization or not. This is a fact despite what some dive shops advertise. You can confirm this with the chamber by asking by email one simple question: "Do you offer insurance?". The answer will be "No". We want to make this clear as this has cost some people dearly.

Divers Alert Network (DAN)

Divers Alert Network (DAN) is an international membership association of individuals and organizations sharing a common interest in diving and safety. It operates a 24-hour diving emergency hotline in the US: 1-919-684-8111 or 1-919-684-4DAN (4326). The latter accepts collect calls in a dive emergency. Though DAN does not directly provide medical care, it does provide advice on early treatment, evacuation, and hyperbaric treatment of diving-related injuries. Divers should contact DAN for assistance as soon as a diving emergency is suspected.

DAN membership is reasonably priced and includes DAN TravelAssist, a membership benefit that covers medical air evacuation from anywhere in the world for any illness or injury. For a small additional fee, divers can get secondary insurance coverage for decompression illness. For membership questions, contact DAN at 1-800-446-2671 in the US or 1-919-684-2948 elsewhere.

DAN Southeast Asia is located in Australia and is the office to contact in an emergency in this area. However, if you wish to join DAN or purchase DAN insurance, you will need to contact your local area office. They have an excellent web site with international links at www.diversalertnetwork.org.

Divers Alert Network SE Asia-Pacific
49A Karnak Road (PO Box 384)
Ashburton, Victoria 3147, Australia
Email: info@danap.org
Web: http://www.danap.org
Phone/Fax: +61 3 9886 9166
After hours emergencies: +61-3 9828 2958




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