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Mandatory health insurance for retirement visa holders starts July

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Mandatory health insurance for retirement visa holders starts July | The Thaiger
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Expats aged 50+ living in Thailand on a long-stay visa will have to buy health insurance from July onwards. Authorities are now preparing the new guidelines to enforce the rules approved by Cabinet last month. But the July start date isn’t yet ‘set in stone’.

The new regulation requires expats on the long-stay non-immigrant O-A visa to have health insurance that offers 40,000 baht coverage for hospital outpatient treatment and 400,000 baht for inpatient.

Saowapa Jongkittipong, who leads the Health Service Support Department’s International Health Division says, “We will ask the Immigration Bureau, the Foreign Ministry and the Insurance Department for additional details and implementation guidelines next week.”

She said that once the rule is implemented, applicants for the non-immigrant O-A visa, valid for one year from the date of issue, would be required to buy health insurance.

“Current holders of this visa will have to produce proof of their health insurance for visa renewal,” she said.

According to Saowapa, this requirement is necessary because medical treatments provided to many elderly long-time foreign residents have weighed heavily on the state coffers.

Last year, foreigners incurred 305 million baht in unpaid medical bills, the year before, 346 million baht in unpaid medical bills. If categorised by the number of medical visits, statistics show about one-fifth of foreign patients did not pay their bills.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry is suggesting visa applicants purchase health insurance from one of the companies listed on www.longstay.tgia.org. The ministry has also told relevant agencies to plan how health insurance policies bought overseas will be verified.

The problem of bad debts incurred by foreigners has existed for many years.

Earlier this year, Health Service Support Department director-general Dr Nattawuth Prasertsiripong said his department had decided to establish claim centres in Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Phang Nga and Surat Thani provinces to help state hospitals collect what is owed to them by foreign patients. The very fact that such centres are required reflects the severity of the problem.

SOURCE: Department of Health Service Support | The Nation

 

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Crime

Taxi driver attacked and stabbed after accident in Bangkok

Caitlin Ashworth

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Taxi driver attacked and stabbed after accident in Bangkok | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Amarin TV

A motorbike driver attacked a taxi driver on Wednesday this week after an accident by taking off his helmet and repeatedly hitting the driver with it before stabbing him with a screwdriver.

A witness says the motorbike cut in front of the taxi on Phet Kasem Road, or Highway 4, in Bangkok, but the taxi couldn’t stop in time and ran into the motorbike, Thai media reports. When the taxi driver stepped out to look at the damage, the motorbike driver took off his helmet and attacked him. Then he took out a screwdriver and stabbed the taxi driver. When people ran up to help, the motorbike driver hopped on his bike and drove off.

The witness took photos of the accident and shared it on Facebook. Yesterday, the motorbike driver turned himself into the Phet Kasem Police and was charged with reckless driving and causing physical and mental harm.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Transport

Nakhonchaiair to resume interprovincial bus services from Monday

Jack Burton

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Nakhonchaiair to resume interprovincial bus services from Monday | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

In a move bound to thrill many Thais stranded away from their home provinces by the Covid-19 crisis and the Emergency Decree, interprovincial buses operated by Nakhonchaiair will resume service from Monday. The company’s CEO made the announcement today.

She added that social distancing measures will be strictly enforced in the seating of passengers, all of whom who will also be required to wear masks or face shields. She also said passengers will have to register on the ThaiChana mobile application before boarding the buses.

Kruawan added that every passenger will be screened for temperature, while all frequently touched areas such as toilets, walkways, handrails, chairs and ticket counters will be disinfected every hour.

On Tuesday, state sponsored Transport Company announced it was maintaining its ban on services to the southern provinces and journeys of more than 300 kilometres. It did not say when services will resume. The company was expected to resume services from Bangkok to Koh Samui, Phuket and Trang from June 1.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Transport

Transport Company interprovincial bus services to the South remain suspended

Jack Burton

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Transport Company interprovincial bus services to the South remain suspended | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Transport Company, Thailand’s interprovincial bus company, announced this week that it is continuing its suspension of all services to the southern provinces as the country will be under the state of emergency until June 30.

It did not say when services will resume. The company was expected to resume services from Bangkok to Koh Samui, Phuket and Trang from June 1.

The Cabinet decided on Tuesday to extend state of emergency in line with measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

Transport Company announced in April, when the national curfew came into force, that services on routes longer than 300 kilometres would remain halted nationwide until further notice.

Services on routes under 300km operated by minibuses are still allowed, from 5am-4pm, and parcel services can operate from 5am-8:30pm.

The decision is in line with the decision of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to maintain the night curfew, from 11pm-3am, and discourage travel between provinces to restrict the spread of the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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