Hospital rankings begin

Hospital rankings begin

164 providers rated 'green' for fair prices

The government on Tuesday unveiled 164 private hospitals rated "green", meaning they offer friendly medicine pricing for patients.

According to Whichai Phochanakij, director-general of the Internal Trade Department, the 164 hospitals out of 354 nationwide were assessed using three criteria: prices charged of up to 100% higher than the average retail price; prices 50% lower than the average prices of similar items sold by private hospital peers; and no price complaints within the past one year.

The names of the green-rated hospitals were displayed on the department's website on Tuesday. They included Saint Louis Hospital, Thonburi Hospital, Hua Chiew Hospital, Vichaiyuth Hospital, Bangkok Christian Hospital and Nawamin 9 Hospital.

The department has been dividing 354 private hospitals nationwide into three categories: red (high prices), yellow (medium) and green (low).

The levels for all hospitals will be posted on the department's website over the next couple of weeks.

Information on the grade of each private hospital, once made available, will provide information on the service charges for private hospitals, enabling people to gauge whether they can afford them.

The department has partnered with Chulalongkorn University to study the reference prices of medicines, medical supplies and medical services based on academic principles, transparency and fairness so that consumers can check prices before making the decision to pay for and receive treatment at private hospitals.

The first focus of the study will be on 100 popular medicines such as painkillers and antibiotics.

The study of the reference prices of medicines is nearly complete, while the study on medical supplies and services is expected to conclude in the next six months.

According to Mr Whichai, the department will set up a panel to offer emblems to green-rated hospitals to reward them and raise public awareness about the hospitals' transparency and fairness in prices charged for medicines and medical supplies.

The move will also encourage hospitals that are rated red and yellow to make themselves more amenable to patients.

Names of the red- and yellow-rated hospitals will be announced later, Mr Whichai said.

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