Private hospitals briefed on new drug prices and medical fee notifications

Internal Trade department officials have briefed representatives of 353 private hospitals around Thailand about the public notification of prices of drugs, medical supplies and medical services to patients are treated at their hospitals.

Internal Trade Department Director General Wichai Phochanakit explained that the private hospitals need to notify the public of the prices of drugs separately, not including the hospital room, air-conditioning or pharmacist fees.

Thailand’s private hospital industry is under the gun after years of complaints from patients who have made official objections to price gouging for services, over-charging and extortionate drug prices. Story HERE.

Some of Thailand’s private hospitals have been reported to charge the prices of drugs 8,000-16,000% higher than the average prices. The private hospitals are currently required to submit the buying and selling prices of drugs to the Department of Internal Trade by July 12.

The prices will be displayed on the department’s website while a QR Code will be provided for people to check the prices at the private hospitals.

The department is not yet taking measures to enforce the setting of the maximum prices of drugs, though some private hospitals may have already overcharged them.

The Department says the maximum prices of drugs might have to be legally enforced if those hospitals continue to overcharge. Any change in the prices of drugs is to be publicly notified 15 days in advance so that the new prices will be updated online.

The hospitals are to notify the fees for initial medical treatment, so patients can decide in advance. That is in line with standard procedures of the World Health Organisation.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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