Thailand’s new 30-baht plus healthcare scheme takes off

Picture courtesy of ThaiPost

Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew expressed satisfaction with the new 30-baht plus healthcare scheme in Thailand, which was launched last Sunday in Roi Et province. The programme, operating under the One Card for All concept, allows members of the universal healthcare card scheme, also known as the gold card scheme, to access medical services from any hospital in Roi Et, Phrae, Phetchaburi, and Narathiwat provinces during its preliminary stage.

The ministry has earmarked 300 million baht (US$8,595,990) to back the initiative during this first phase. In the second phase set for March, the project is slated to broaden its reach to the provinces of Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Amnat Charoen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Sing Buri, Sa Kaeo, and Phang Nga.

“We [seek] 6.2 billion baht (US$ 177,650,460) to run the 30-baht plus health care scheme in the 2024 Budget Bill this year.”

The ministry’s plans also entail collaborating with the Social Security Office to extend this project to members of the Social Security Fund, thereby enabling SSF members to access any hospital using their ID cards in the future, reported Bangkok Post.

After inspecting the services at Cha Am Hospital on Saturday, Cholnan claimed that the hospital was now capable of accommodating more outpatients and providing quicker services due to the scheme.

Dr Prakasit Chomchuen, the director of Cha Am Hospital, noted that the scheme had significantly reduced the time required for outpatients to receive medical care at the hospital, decreasing it from half a day to merely one or two hours. Patients can now collect their medications from drug stores located near their homes after their diagnosis, reducing the service time needed for hospitals and providing convenience for patients, said Dr Prakasit.

“The scheme has helped increase the number of outpatients by about 4% after the 30-baht plus healthcare scheme was initiated.”

From tomorrow, January 15, to Thursday, the hospital catered to 3,613 patients, averaging 903 patients per day, with the majority suffering from mild ailments such as headaches and rashes.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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