Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients to no longer cover Covid-19 starting March

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul | Photo via อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล Facebook (January 2022)

Thailand’s Public Health Minister announced today that come March 1, Thailand’s Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients will no longer cover Covid-19 infections, meaning Thais will need to pay out of pocket if they are admitted to a private hospital or facility for treatment. A night at “hospitel,” which is a hotel that works with a hospital to offer isolation services, will be set at 1,000 baht.

The minister said other health care schemes still cover Covid-19 though, including social security, the gold card scheme, universal healthcare, and civil servants’ medical benefits. UCEP normally covers patients with sudden severe chest pains, sudden unconsciousness, severe difficulty breathing or rapid short breathing.

The Thai government founded UCEP in 2017 to solve the problem of inequity in emergency medical treatments. It gives patients emergency care without charging them for the first 72 hours of their admission or until they are ready to be transferred to their registered hospitals.

The minister also added that PT-PCR tests will cost 900 baht for two-gene tests, and 1,100 baht for three-gene tests. There will be no charges for swab tests. Antigen tests will be 350 baht, or 250 baht depending on the type of test kit.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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