911 – Emergency Call Numbers in Thailand

911-Emergency Call Numbers in Thailand are a bit different. There are different numbers for different services, and some are confusing. For instance, what is the difference between Ambulance and Rescue, and the Medical Emergency number?

Everybody has an emergency at some point in their life. Anyone from the US or Canada knows to call 911 for any emergency. North America uses this system, and it makes things easy. There is only one number to remember for any emergency. Medical, Fire, and police, the simplicity and ease of using one number cannot be overstated.

911-Emergency

Europe uses 112 and the United Kingdom uses 999. Again, there is only one number to remember, and most people are taught that number when they are children and remember it for the rest of their lives.

Note: Thailand adopted the 911 Emergency number back in 2015.

This fact is not well known here in Thailand. I was here when Thailand made the announcement that you could use 911, and I did not even hear about it.

I was unaware that you could dial 911 until I started researching Emergency numbers for Thailand. I spoke to some friends just this past week, who have lived here for 20 and even 30 years, and they are unaware that dialing 911 is possible here. It has not been well documented. Thaiger made a post about it back in 2015 which included the quote from the Phuket Govenor below.

This quote is from the Governor of Phuket back in 2015.

“The Cabinet approved the use of the number months ago,” said Governor Chamroen. “For some reason, the public relations campaign never really took off. Therefore, I felt the need to make the announcement that everyone can now dial 911 for emergencies, 24 hours a day.”

Chamroen Tipayapongtada

However, people who are familiar with the former 191 emergency hotline need not worry, as their calls will automatically be redirected to the new 911 number, Gov Chamroen added.

911 Emergency

Does 911-Emergency work here?

I called 911 this morning October 23, 2023. The call came up as a 91-1 Emergency contact on my phone screen and was answered by a Thai-speaking person. I asked for an English-speaking person, and I was directed to call 1155 – Thailand Tourist Police.

So, while the number does work, it is faster to just call one of the numbers below (depending on your circumstances).

However – if you cannot remember the correct number, calling 911 will work and you will be directed to the correct number that you need.

Different Numbers for Different Services

In Thailand, it is slightly different there are different numbers for different services.

General Police Hotline number 191

Fire Emergency number 199

Ambulance and Rescue number 1554

Medical Emergency number 1669

Tourist Police number 1155

Highway Police number 1193

Government Complaints hotline number 1111

Those are the main call numbers that anyone should need in Thailand. You are covered for almost any emergency with these. Note: the general emergency number (191) will not have any English so it may present a problem for you if you cannot speak Thai. If you require an English-speaking number, please call the Tourist Police number – they can help.

Note: the difference between the Medical Emergency and the Ambulance and Rescue is simply if you need an ambulance or not. If you do need an ambulance then call 1554.

Tourism Authority of Thailand

If you are looking for the Tourism Authority of Thailand for information on Toiurist sites and or general tourist information please call 1672.

Traveling?

For a handy list of Emergency Numbers for countries around the world, the US Department of State has compiled this list. You can download it from the site and save it to your phone or tablet.

It should get you assistance for the majority of countries in the world. Stay safe out there. If you would like to simply download the file, click here.

What to Do When You Have Time

Once your emergency is over and you are doing okay, you may want to remember that the place that you have ended up for your medical emergency, may not be the most cost-effective option for a long-term stay. If you find yourself in a position where you will require further care and or a long-term stay, you may want to consider checking around for a more cost-effective option.

Many of the doctors at the major private hospitals also have duties at the lesser-known hospitals, so do yourself a favor and look around before committing to treatment. I have a case study of an Expat who experienced chest pains and required emergency medical care, he requested and was given medical treatment and then was asked where he would like to go for his operation. The most expensive hospital was suggested to him, he simply asked for alternatives and was taken to a different location which saved him more than half of the cost of the operation.

If money is no object this may not mean anything to you, however, if you are on a budget, be aware that there are many alternatives for healthcare in Thailand – many of which are excellent locations, but are definitely more cost-effective.

Summary

It is always good to know the emergency numbers wherever you are. For many of us from the West, it has been simple to remember 911. Thailand has recognized this and has implemented the 911 system since 2015. However, we should not the above numbers for emergencies whenever we need them. They are the most direct route to assistance.

Thailand is a safe place, but anyone can experience an emergency at any time, so please keep these numbers close by for immediate use as needed.

If you cannot speak any Thai, please use the Tourist Police number 1155, for any enquiries.

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