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188 new total of Bangkok clinics accused of defrauding healthcare system

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Officials say they have found evidence of fraudulent claims at an additional 106 hospitals and health clinics in Bangkok. This follows an initial investigation by the National Health Security Office that uncovered corruption at 18 Bangkok healthcare facilities, which was then increased to 64 upon further scrutiny. The latest discovery brings to 188 the number of clinics and hospitals accused of defrauding Thailand’s universal healthcare system.

The scandal, involving around 1 million fake services, and costing the state an estimated 195 million baht, is laid bare in a report in Nation Thailand today. The NHSO has already cancelled contracts with 64 healthcare facilities, accusing them of inventing patient details to defraud the government. It’s understood all 188 hospitals and clinics will be made to repay the money, with the NHSO lodging a civil case with the Department of Special Investigation, who will carry out an investigation into all medical records from the last 10 years.

The deputy secretary-general of the NHSO, Karoon Kuntiranont, says that of 800,000 claims from gold cardholders, around 70% have been found to be false. He says the 30% of patients whose cases are genuine will now be cared for by other facilities. These include HIV patients, patients awaiting surgery, those being treated for kidney disease, and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

Karoon says the corruption is limited to clinics and hospitals in the greater Bangkok area, with a loophole that allowed the fraud to take place now being closed.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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