Free care for virus sufferers

Free care for virus sufferers

The government reiterated yesterday that no Covid-infected Thais should ever be charged for being treated at state or private hospitals.

It also said it was considering paying private hospital to provide Covid-19 patients with some services not currently covered by the Covid-19 care reimbursement programme.

All hospitals, including private hospitals, are now required under an announcement declaring Covid-19 to be an emergency disease to treat every Covid-19 infected patient until he or she is safe and without charging the patient for the service, said Dr Tares Krassanairawiwong, director-general of Department of Health Service Support (DHSS).

The announcement was issued under the power of the law on healthcare facilities, he said.

The National Health Security Office (NHSO) now handles claims submitted by hospitals for reimbursement for costs of treatment and other necessary services provided to any Covid-19 patients.

Services fully covered by the Covid-19 care reimbursement programme include costs for Covid-19 lab tests, in-patient treatment, hospital transfers and hospital admission in case of Covid-19 vaccinations causing severe side effects.

And in response to a fresh call by the Private Hospital Association for the government to consider reimbursing them for about eight more services associated with Covid-19 treatment, he said the DHSS would forward this to the cabinet for discussion.

In the meantime, Dr Tares said the DHSS would issue a new announcement requesting all private hospitals to stop telling Covid-19 patients how much their treatment cost, since they had led some patients to mistakenly believe they were being charged for their treatment.

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