Treatment to remain free for Covid patients with moderate or severe symptoms

PHOTO: Facebook/Mae Sai Hospital

Emergency Covid-19 treatment will remain free for patients with moderate or severe illness, according to the government. Deputy spokesperson Traisuree Taisaranakul says the new Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients Plus scheme will mean such patients can request treatment at any facility for 3 days, before being transferred to the government or private hospital where they are registered.

Currently, Covid patients with symptoms ranging from mild to severe can be treated for free at any hospital, under the existing UCEP scheme. However, from March 16, those who only have mild symptoms will be excluded from inpatient treatment.

“We want to reserve beds in hospitals for the yellow (moderate) and red (severe) groups of patients.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, Traisuree says the majority of Covid-19 patients now only have mild symptoms. Those who don’t belong to groups considered high-risk, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions, are being told to self-isolate at home or to avail of community isolation schemes, which include consulting with doctors remotely.

Since the Omicron variant took over as the dominant variant in the kingdom, Public Health Ministry data shows that 88% of Covid patients are in the green, aka mild, category. Only 12% are in the yellow or red groups, meaning they have moderate or severe symptoms.

“Patients who are in the green group will not have the UCEP Plus privilege, but their treatment cost can be covered by other healthcare schemes including the National Health Security Office’s universal health coverage, the social security system, or the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme.”

Meanwhile, health minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the situation is improving in Thailand, with the infection rate having dropped below the recovery rate and new cases declining overall.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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