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State hospitals: Big price jump

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After staying the same since 2004, state hospitals increase fees next month. More than 50% rise for brain & heart disease diagnosis fees. 

MRI scanners are an expensive piece of medical equipment (Source: Wikipedia)

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HEALTH

State hospital medical fee rates to go up

29 Jan 2013
Paritta Wangkiat

The medical service fees charged by state hospitals will increase about 5-10% on average next month, Public Health Minister Pradit Sintanawarong said yesterday.

The hike is due to the minimum wage increase and higher cost of drugs and medical equipment, he said.

The last time the ministry raised the medical service fee rate was in 2004. That rate no longer reflects the cost of providing medical services, Dr Pradit said.

The fee will rise significantly for services that require the use of complex technology, he said.

Special diagnostics service fees, such as brain and heart disease diagnosis, will rise by more than 50% because they use advanced equipment and new technology. Radiology fees will increase 23%, while medical technology service fees will go up 8%, Dr Pradit said.

However, some fees will be reduced as the technology they require has become more readily available.

This means overall medical service fees will rise by about 5-10% on average, he said. The new rates will apply at every state hospital, and also at health insurance firms.

Public health officials are now working on the details of the fee rise, which will also be submitted to the Comptroller-General's Department for consideration.

The proposal is expected to be implemented in the next two weeks, Dr Pradit said, adding the hike would not affect most people.

About 99% of Thais are members of one of three health schemes - 48 million are covered under the universal healthcare scheme and the rest are either members of the Social Security Fund or the medical scheme for state officials.

Each health scheme will have to manage its budget to bear the increased cost for members, he said. Only foreigners and some Thai patients who are not members of any health schemes will be affected by the fee rise, Dr Pradit said.

(Source: Bangkok Post, HEALTH, State hospital medical fee rates to go up, 29 Jan 2013, Paritta Wangkiat, link

 
Healthcare Vocabulary

healthcare - the treatment and prevention of diseases and other medical problems (See Wikipedia)

health economics - the branch of economics concerned with healthcare issues including the price, efficiency, effectiveness, value and behavior in the production and consumption of health and healthcare (See Wikipedia)

state - government รัฐ
state hospital - a hospital owned and operated by the government

equipment  - the machines used to do some kind of work or task อุปกรณ์
medical equipment - machines used to check and monitor the health of people

radiology -
the study and practice of medical imaging; using X-rays and similar technology (CAT scan, MRI) to get images and pictures of inside the body to better treat disease รังสีวิทยา

MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging, "an MRI scanner is a device in which the patient lies within a large, powerful magnet... MRI provides good contrast between the different soft tissues of the body, which makes it especially useful in imaging the brain, muscles, the heart, and cancers compared with other medical imaging techniques such as computed tomography (CT) or X-rays. Unlike CT scans or traditional X-rays, MRI does not use ionizing radiation" (See Wikipedia)

MRI scanner - the machine used to make MRI images (See photo at top of page)

fee
- an amount of money that you pay to get some service ค่าธรรมเนียม, ค่าตอบแทน, ค่าบริการ
rate
- an amount of money that people have to pay to get something อัตรา

medical fee rates
medical service fee rates
state hospital medical fee rates to go up

The medical service fees charged by state hospitals will increase about 5-10% on average next month, Public Health Minister Pradit Sintanawarong said yesterday.

public health - the health of all the people in a community or whole country and the policies and practices that make large groups of people healthier การสาธารณสุข (See Wikipedia)

universal healthcare scheme - a government program to provide medical treatment to everyone in the country (See Wikipedia)
universal - involving everyone ทั่วไป
scheme - a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people แผนการ โครงการ

wage - an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
minimum wage - the lowest amount of money that can legally be paid to workers for their work
minimum wage increase

hike - increase
minimum wage hike
the hike is due to the minimum wage increase and higher cost of drugs and medical equipment, he said.

ministry - a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง
the last time the ministry raised the medical service fee rate was in 2004.

no longer -
 not anymore, does not do it anymore (in the past did it, but now does not do it)
reflects -
shows or includes

no longer reflects - does not pay for medical services now (but did pay for medical services in the past) 
that rate no longer reflects the cost of providing medical services

significantly - in an important way อย่างสำคัญ
the fee will rise significantly

complex
- an area that has several parts
complex technology
the fee will rise significantly for services that require the use of complex technology, he said.

diagnosis
- when a doctor makes a judgement about what disease a patient has การวินิจฉัยโรค
brain disease diagnosis
heart disease diagnosis

diagnostics - วิชาการวินิจฉัยโรค
special diagnostics service fees

Special diagnostics service fees, such as brain and heart disease diagnosis, will rise by more than 50% because they use advanced equipment and new technology.

radiology fees
medical technology service fees
radiology fees will increase 23%, while medical technology service fees will go up 8%

readily available - easy to get and use (cheaper then before so more of it exists)
technology is more readily available

some fees will be reduced as the technology they require has become more readily available

overall -
for everything; all included
overall medical service fees

apply - to make use of something นำมาใช้
the new rates will apply at every state hospital

insurance - when you make regular payments to a company, who will make large payments to help you if you have a problem in the future such as an accident or are sick (See Wikipedia) การประกันภัย

health insurance - insurance to pay the cost of expensive doctors and hospitals when you get sick with a serious illness การประกันสุขภาพ (See Wikipedia)

This means overall medical service fees will rise by about 5-10% on average, he said. The new rates will apply at every state hospital, and also at health insurance firms.

submitted - formally given to someone so that they can make a decision about it ยื่น  ยื่นเอกสารเพื่อการพิจารณา
consideration - giving careful thought to something before making a decision; to go over details before deciding to do a project

submit for consideration -
give something to the government to make a decision about
the details of the fee rise submitted to the government for consideration

official - high level government workers ทางการ,  ข้าราชการ
public health officials - high level government workers working in public health
public health officials are now working on the details of the fee rise
Public health officials are now working on the details of the fee rise, which will also be submitted to the Comptroller-General's Department for consideration.

proposal - a plan or suggestion for a group to consider ข้อเสนอ

implement - put a plan into action, actually doing the things in a plan, carry out, execute, achieve goals in plan  ทำให้มีผล, ทำให้สำเร็จ, ทำให้เกิดประโยชน์
implement proposal - put a proposal into action, do what was proposed

expected
- believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
the proposal is expected to be implemented in the next two weeks, Dr Pradit said, adding the hike would not affect most people.

About 99% of Thais are members of one of three health schemes - 48 million are covered under the universal healthcare scheme and the rest are either members of the Social Security Fund or the medical scheme for state officials.

budget - the amounts of money that an organisation has available to spend on different things during a period งบประมาณ (See Wikipedia)
manage budget
each health scheme will have to manage its budget

bear
- to accept, tolerate or endure especially something unpleasant ทน
bear increased cost
bear the increased cost for members
each health scheme will have to bear the increased cost for members

Each health scheme will have to manage its budget to bear the increased cost for members, he said. Only foreigners and some Thai patients who are not members of any health schemes will be affected by the fee rise, Dr Pradit said.

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