NBTC begins funding of 41 hospitals

NBTC begins funding of 41 hospitals

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) plans to start providing 345 million baht to 41 qualified state hospitals today in an assistance scheme to combat the pandemic.

The 41 hospitals are the first segment to be qualified to receive assistance from the NBTC. A total of 273 hospitals have sought financial assistance from the telecom regulator, which earlier approved using 1 billion baht from its fiscal 2020 budget and the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research Fund to support hospitals fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith said representatives from the 41 hospitals can come to the NBTC office to sign documents and receive the assistance.

Of the 41 hospitals, 12 are large medical facilities with at least 500 beds. They will receive financial support of 16.9-35.3 million baht each, depending on their needs and proposal details. These 12 hospitals will use the funding to boost healthcare service efficiency, which covers ICU negative rooms, cohort wards as well as CT scanners embedded with artificial intelligence and respirators, he said.

The other 29 hospitals are smaller operations. Their assistance ranges from 58,000 baht to 13 million baht, depending on necessity and their proposals. The funds will go towards respirators, sanitary masks, medical supplies and enhancing services.

The 41 hospitals have to start spending the funds within 45 days of receipt. The NBTC allows state hospitals to seek financial assistance from March 26 until June.

As of Tuesday, total demand from hospital requests to the agency tallied 1.97 billion baht. Mr Takorn said the NBTC will continue to vet the remaining proposals and the board is expected to approve them by next week.

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