NHSO forms team to probe Bangkok healthcare malpractice

Picture courtesy of Bangkok Post

Bangkok’s primary healthcare clinics have been hit with a staggering 3,771 complaints, prompting the National Health Security Office (NHSO) to form an investigative team to probe alleged malpractices.

The NHSO issued a statement yesterday, April 30, addressing its commitment to resolve grievances from patients under the 30 baht universal healthcare scheme.

These objections arose following the NHSO’s decision to modify the universal healthcare service in Bangkok, aiming at alleviating patient congestion in hospitals. Dr Suphan Srithamma, who heads the committee on quality and standard control for public health service, confirmed the formation of a fact-finding team to scrutinize the case.

“The NHSO has a clear principle that the service recipients should be able to access the service with convenience according to the health security office law.”

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Once the investigation concludes, the findings will be presented to the committee for consideration. However, he refrained from making further comments, assuring that the NHSO’s chief would provide all necessary explanations to avoid any misinterpretations.

In 2022, the NHSO rolled out its OP Anywhere policy, granting universal healthcare cardholders the liberty to access outpatient medical services at any national hospital during emergencies. However, the office recently amended this rule, mandating its members to first seek treatment at a primary healthcare clinic, only to be transferred to a hospital if required.

Between February 27 and April 23, the 30 baht universal healthcare scheme received a deluge of complaints, majorly targeting the primary healthcare clinics (3,020 cases), followed by transferred hospitals (462 cases) and public health centres (289 cases).

The top grievances included clinics denying patients’ requests for hospital transfers, issues in issuing transfer documents, and failing to transfer patients to their registered hospitals.

The capital’s 30-baht healthcare scheme is anticipated to face a significant hurdle, primarily due to the scarcity of hospitals providing service to healthcare cardholders.

Adding to the woes, many privately-owned hospitals have already declined to participate or continue their cooperation with the project, citing a lack of resources and manpower as the primary reasons, reported Bangkok Post.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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