Archive for May, 2012

Thai doctor review website

Posted: May 5, 2012 in Health

I happened upon a website called MyThaiDoctors.com which is a review website where visitors can post reviews and details of their experiences with doctors in Thailand. There are also blog posts about various experiences such as the one about how Thai doctors moonlight at multiple hospitals.

I like the idea of the site and it seems like the site owner(s) got off to a very good start by checking which reviewed doctors are American Board Certified and including that information. Unfortunately, it seems like that energy was lost since the site lists the last update of board certified doctors as October 2008. Another thing that is inevitable with review type sites is that you get either strongly negative or strongly positive reviews. People are rarely motivated to go online and write a review if a product or service simply met their expectations. That is a bit unfortunate since the majority of doctor visits are probably not very eventful but rather get the job done. So there are vastly more doctors that would probably get a 3 or 4 star rating than the small number of 1 and 5 star ratings. The site does have an extensive list of Thai doctors, 3,188 in fact. It’s just that the vast majority are unrated.

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I saw this amazing chart over at ZeroHedge.com. It shows the Labor Force Participation Rate in the U.S. for the last 30 years. It just hit a 30 year low. The number of people not in the labor force has now risen to 88,419,000. Those are two pretty amazing statistics and really make the government look retarded for touting the modest drops in the official unemployment rate. Check out the chart:

Labor Force Participation Rate hits 30 year low

From ZeroHedge.com

I guess I am a contributor to that drop that started accelerating around the beginning of 2002 because that’s when I exited the U.S. labor force. The drop has been really steep since 2008 and looks to be headed well lower. That can only accelerate the approaching financial collapse of the U.S. economy.

Someone asked a question today about what the inflation rate in Thailand is, both the official rate and the gut feel rate. That got me thinking because I know that the official rate is mentioned now and then in the Thai media and from what I recall it has been around 3.5 to 4.0 % for the past few years. My gut feel is that seems about right but maybe a little on the low side, that maybe it has been running higher based on my own sampling of prices. I ended up finding this chart of the offical rate:

Chart of inflation rate in Thailand

It has fluctuated wildly over the last 10 years, over 9% in 2008 to a negative 4% in 2009. That’s the official rate. And yes it does look like it has been flat at a little under 4% for the last couple of years. I’m not sure what the big drop to negative inflation rate means because I sure did not see any price reduction at the time.

I saw that Comcast reported good earnings, largely driven by a jump in subscribers to their internet service. Bad news for those subscribers – Comcast is another ISP that is incompetent in its overzealous spam control efforts. Just like Earthlink which I blogged about before, Comcast is blocking emails from people who are replying to messages sent by its subscribers. It happened to me recently when I replied to someone using Comcast. My reply bounced with a message that it was blocked due to spam coming from my IP address. The thing is, my IP address is not listed in any of over 107 spam tracking databases. Add to that the fact that it is pretty obvious that when one of their subscribers sends me an email they probably want to receive the reply. So Comcast is obviously stupid. The real trouble is that its subscribers don’t know that replies to their emails are being blocked. They just think that their message was ignored or lost.

So Comcast subscribers,

I usually do my annual health screening in April each year. This year I had been planning to do it but still hadn’t decided where. An SMS message I received on Friday helped me make a quick decision. The text message said that Bangkok Hospital Korat was offering a deep discount on the price of annual physical exam packages but I had to act fast because it was only for April 28 until April 30. And this was a real discount for a change, 60% no less! It wasn’t some tricky pricing game either because I checked on the price list I already had and the normal price was about 9,000 baht while the special price was 3,200 baht. This was for the VIP package which is a pretty thorough screening but does not include some optional blood work nor exercise stress test.

I thought it was going to be packed with people but it wasn’t, probably because of the short notice, or maybe because I arrived before 8:00 a.m. on a work day. Service was good and the consultation with the doctor at the end was very good with her spending plenty of time. I think this kind of deep discount is rare for them because I heard one of the doctors and a nurse talking about how they had never heard of such a deal. The customer rep at the front desk said they do offer discounts regularly, often on the ninth of each month, but nothing like 60% off