Professional groups back change to health scheme

Professional groups back change to health scheme

Representatives from key medical professional associations submit a letter backing an amended bill regulating the universal healthcare scheme to the Public Health Ministry. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul
Representatives from key medical professional associations submit a letter backing an amended bill regulating the universal healthcare scheme to the Public Health Ministry. Wichan Charoenkiatpakul

Three medical professional associations have submitted a letter to support an amendment to the Universal Health Care scheme, saying the law should be adjusted after being in use for 15 years.

The associations are the Medical Association of Thailand under the Royal Patronage, the Physical Therapy Association of Thailand and the Federation of Doctors at Hospitals. Representatives from the groups submitted a letter to Marut Jirasetsiri, spokesman for the committee amending the Universal Health Care bill and inspector-general for the Ministry of Public Health.

Saranet Waikakul, of the Medical Association of Thailand, which is the oldest physicians association in the country, said the law should be revised in four areas.

First, the proportion of the board members for the National Heath Security Office should be changed to balance the ratio of service providers and service recipients.

Next, the budget should be managed effectively to benefit the general public.

Third, the NHSO should separate the budget for personnel from that for medical treatment fees for patients, as is done in the US and the UK, to promote operational efficiency.

Finally, there should be transparency in budgetary spending.

Mr Marut said the committee will submit its proposals to the government's drafting committee tomorrow. It is chaired by Varakorn Samakoses.

He said the amendment is proceeding as planned with more than 50% having already been completed. The committee is set to make a proposal on the matter to the public health minister on July 17.


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