Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

Hospitals warned against rejecting patients before changes to UCEP scheme take effect

PHOTO: PR Phuket

The government has warned private hospitals not to reject Covid-19 patients before planned changes to the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients scheme come into effect. Under the UCEP scheme, patients can be treated at any hospital for the first 3 days, after which they are transferred to the hospital where their state welfare or insurance scheme is registered.

However, from March 1, Covid-19 treatment for patients who are not seriously ill will not be covered. If they wish to be treated at private hospitals, these patients will be required to pay for it. Until the policy takes effect on March 1 however, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana says private hospitals that refuse to treat Covid patients will be penalised under the Medical Facilities Act.

“Until the policy change takes effect (on March 1), Covid-19 patients can seek medical treatment at private hospitals without being charged.”

Thanakorn says Covid patients with only mild symptoms will be asked to self-isolate at home or at community isolation facilities. According to a Bangkok Post report, the cost of the isolation facility will be paid by state welfare schemes, such as universal health coverage, social security, or the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme.

According to Thanakorn, the government plans to introduce a new scheme called Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients Plus. The new scheme will cover Covid patients with moderate to severe symptoms.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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