Pollution-Cased Diseases and “Treatment Cost” to be Paid


“Believe it or not…air pollution on the roads may prematurely put an end to our lives.”

The pollution that has recently been the talk of the town is nothing but “PM 2.5,” particulate matter of which the average diameter is less than 2.5 micron. When we breathe in and are exposed to the accumulation of high levels of pollution in our own body, it will potentially lead to an abnormality of the respiratory system, destroying our nasal cavity, throat, through lung and heart.

The symptoms start from coughing, sneezing, sore throat, shortness of breath, which can be lessened by proper medication and sufficient rest. However, if the symptoms develop into respiratory diseases, as well as heart-related diseases, such as bronchitis, pneumonia/pneumonitis, asthma, lung cancer, emphysema, and ischemic heart disease, how much the treatment cost will be?

Treatment costs from private hospitals

Lung Cancer*

  • Initial stage: The treatment cost is approximately THB 500,000.
  • Metastatic tumor: The treatment cost is approximately up to THB 2,000,000.

*Inclusive of expenses incurred from diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, operation, and targeted gene therapy.

Myocardial ischemia and infarction

  • The treatment cost is approximately THB 400,000-700,000.


Primary methods of protection and pollution mitigation

1. Air Quality Check: The air quality check in Thailand can be classified into 5 scales as follows.

AQ Meaning
0-50 (Blue) Good air quality. No health effects.
51-100 (Green) Moderate air quality. No health effects.
101-200 (Yellow) Unhealthy.
- Respiratory patients should avoid outdoor exercises.
- Children and elderly persons should not do outdoor activities for a long period of time.
201-300 (Orange) Very unhealthy.
- Respiratory patients should avoid outdoor activities.
- Children and elderly persons should limit their outdoor exercise.
More than 300 (Red) Hazardous.
- People, in general, should avoid outdoor exercise.
- Respiratory patients should stay only inside of a building.

2. Reduce outdoor activities: It is recommended to reduce outdoor activities when the air quality is indicated as unhealthy, and to avoid outdoor activities when the air quality is indicated as a health hazard.

3. Wear a face mask: If you need to go outside, wearing a face mask with a proper filter is highly recommended as it’ll help purify the air you breathe in.

4. Sufficient sleep: Health effects caused by pollution are individually varied. Therefore, if you cannot avoid pollution, you can repair your physical damage and reduce the risks of diseases by having sufficient sleep.


How to plan your finance in order to deal with pollution?
After being aware of the treatment cost, many of you may think that if we closely take care of ourselves, we’ll surely avoid the treatment costs. In fact, such diseases can happen to us anytime. Therefore, if you don’t want to pay for the entire treatment cost, there are also some alternatives for you to deal with it.

Option 1 Transfer your risk to an insurance company by registering a health insurance policy. 
Health insurance will help you in terms of treatment costs. This can be categorized into a comprehensive package, a package that will cover all treatment costs incurred based on the financial limit we choose. For example, 1 million baht/ 3 million baht per year; and essential package, which clearly indicates coverage conditions. For example, physician, surgery, and procedure cost at THB 100,000 per time, and for other treatments performed at the hospital at THB 50,000. Although the treatment cost is up to seven digits, the insurance premium is in fact not that high. A proper insurance premium is actually 10-15% of your yearly income.

Example Monthly income is THB 25,000, equivalent to THB 300,000 per year. Therefore, the proper insurance premium should be THB 30,000-45,000.

It may seem like a huge sum of money as we need to pay the entire amount once a year. However, if we set aside 10-15% of our income every month, then, from ten thousand baht will be lessened to a thousand baht per month thanks to the money gradually collected. 

Option 2 Set up financial targets to cover treatment costs
Based on Option 1, you can see that we need to pay for the insurance premium only once a year. Therefore, during the period of 1 year, we can invest our allocated money in low/moderate risk assets. For instance: 

  1. Fixed deposit – This is an alternative most of us are familiar to. There is a wide range of time deposit for you to choose from. However, as for insurance premiums, you’re recommended to choose the time deposit of 6 or 12 months. 
  2. Money market fund – It is an investment in deposit and short-term debt securities of not more than 1 year. It generates a higher return than that obtained from savings deposit and is subject to high liquidity. After each sale transaction, you just need to wait for only 1 day to get your money.
  3. Short-term general bond – It is an investment in a short-term general bond, of which the period is not more than 1 year, while the risk is a little bit higher than that of the money market fund. Therefore, the chance to obtain more returns, as well as the liquidity, is higher as well. After each sale transaction, you just need to wait for only 1-2 business days for the money to be transferred to your account (depending on the policies of each fund).

In this regard, for those of you who are interested in setting up financial targets to cover treatment costs through mutual funds, you are highly recommended to first understand the nature of products (funds), conditions, returns, and risks, before deciding to invest. The investor is required to study on the details of mutual funds, especially in the part of investment policies, risks, and performance of the fund, which are accessible from a variety of sources. In this regard, you can also request further information from corresponding staff before making the decision. 

For more information about Principal Asset Management, please visit https://www.principal.th/ 

Respiratory Disease Information: https://www.paolohospital.com 
Lung Cancer’s Treatment Cost Information: https://elife.azay.co.th/CancerNoWorries/articleDetail014 
API Information: http://www.pcd.go.th/info_serv/air_aqi.htm