Coronavirus (Covid-19)Thailand

Public Health Ministry assures government will continue to cover covid treatment costs — for critical cases

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul assured Thai citizens that their Covid-related costs will continue to be covered after planned changes to the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients scheme — or UCEP — takes effect in March.

He also dispelled rumours that the existing scheme would be abandoned altogether, reaffirming that citizens infected with Covid-19 can still be treated under the programme. The changes were approved on February 18 and will begin on March 1.

The minister said the changes are intended to improve budget management, while maintaining a certain standard of Covid-19 treatment. But the public has expressed alarm toward the government’s recent removal of Covid-19 from UCEP’s list of the list of covered conditions

Under the current UCEP scheme, patients can seek treatment at any medical facility for three days, including public hospitals, before being transferred to another hospital registered by their health insurance or state welfare scheme — likely a lesser quality government institution.

But starting from March 1, those who test positive for Covid-19 nd don’t require critical care will have to foot the cost of their own medical bill, if they decide to receive treatment at private hospitals, which would presumably provide better care at a higher cost.

The revamped scheme is being rebranded as Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients Plus and will continue to cover Covid-19 patients with moderate to severe symptoms, requiring emergency treatment, the Bangkok Post reported.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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