Connect with us


Health Minister pushes for unified emergency healthcare by April 1

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET (The Nation): Private hospitals are willing to join a government plan to provide unlimited emergency medical treatment to all patients covered by healthcare schemes, starting on April 1, Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri has announced.

Mr Witthaya said that he had been discussing the plan with executives of hospitals, including private ones, across the country since March 8. All hospitals had agreed to join the plan, he said.

Dr Suwinai Butsarakramwong, the director of the private Kluay Nam Thai Hospital, said he welcomed the plan.

“The plan will not create an additional burden for the hospital when it comes to managing its services for patients,” he said.

Kluay Nam Thai currently accepts patients from the National Health Security Office (NHSO) universal healthcare scheme and the Social Security scheme.

“We’ll just have to change our procedures a little to adjust the hospital’s management system to the plan,” said Dr Suwinai.

However, he said he had not yet been contacted by any government agency about the plan.

The proposal would see all hospitals providing emergency medical treatment – continuing until the patient is well enough to go home – to patients from any of the government’s three healthcare schemes: the NHSO universal healthcare scheme, the Social Security scheme and the Civil Servant Medical Benefit scheme.

Later, patients without any coverage would be incorporated into the scheme as well.

He said he is waiting for a final decision from the Private Hospital Association on whether they will join the government plan or not.

Association president Dr Chalerm Hanpanich was unable to respond to questions from The Nation as he is abroad.

Speaking after a meeting at Government House on Tuesday at which officials discussed ways of reducing inequality in the healthcare system, Health Minister Witthaya said, “Patients would just show their ID card to hospital staff [at a facility] close to their present location and they will be allowed to receive medical treatment in emergency hours.

“They will no longer have to worry about the cost of emergency medical treatment. From now on, they will be able to go to any state or private hospital and receive emergency medical treatment. They do not have to pay in advance for any treatment during emergency hours.”

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt NaRanong, Labor Minister Phadermchai Sasomsap, National Health Security Office Secretary-General Dr Winai Sawasdivorn, Social Security Fund Deputy Secretary-General Dr Suradej Waleeitthikul and officials from the Comptroller General’s Department and other agencies.

The meeting designated the NHSO to act as a clearinghouse to pay the cost of emergency medical treatments for patients from all three healthcare schemes.

The NHSO will pay about 10,500 baht for each emergency medical treatment to the hospital concerned. Later, the NHSO will be reimbursed by the patient’s healthcare scheme.

“Patients in need of emergency care will be treated at hospitals until they recover and are able to go home,” he said.

Until now, emergency patients have been allowed to stay at the initial hospital for only 72 hours. After that they are transferred to the hospital with which they are registered under their healthcare scheme.

Health Minister Witthaya said he had asked the Emergency Medical Institute to compile a list of clearly defined emergency medical treatments that will be recognized under the plan.

“We have to make sure that patients are receiving genuine emergency medical treatments,” he said.

About 48 million people registered with the NHSO, with 10 million being members of the Social Security scheme and five million government officials eligible for Civil Servant Medical Benefit services.

However, Mr Witthaya added that about 400,000 people, including temporary government employees and state-enterprise employees, are not covered under any of these three healthcare schemes.

The ministry will revise its regulations to allow them to receive emergency medical treatment under the new healthcare plan, he said.

— The Nation


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Best of12 hours ago

Top 5 Wine Bars in Bangkok with Delivery

Best of12 hours ago

The Best Bakeries in Bangkok with Delivery

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

More Pattaya people arrested drinking alcohol, violating Covid measures

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Best of13 hours ago

5 of the most appealing Phang Nga hotels

Phuket13 hours ago

“Phuket Sandbox” still on, provincial restrictions set after uptick in Covid-19

Thailand14 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Boss indictment, Pattaya arrests, bubble burst | July 27

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 bars in Pattaya

Thailand14 hours ago

UPDATE: Dying Samut Prakan mother tells daughters to go to orphanage

Best of14 hours ago

Top 5 Thai restaurants in Krabi

Drugs15 hours ago

Hong Kong officials seize 61 kilograms of heroin shipped from Bangkok

Best of15 hours ago

Koh Pha Ngan’s 5 best resorts

North East15 hours ago

Couple “drops off” Covid infected 80 year old father at Korat temple, drive off

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Phuket officials add new layers of restrictions, Central closed for 7 days

Thailand16 hours ago

Korat construction camp closed following Covid outbreak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)17 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 14,150 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8