Bangkok clinics to help with home care

Bangkok clinics to help with home care

NHSO enlists help for isolating patients

The National Health Security Office (NHSO) is enlisting the help of more than 3,000 privately-run clinics in Bangkok to treat the "green" group of mild Covid-19 sufferers.

The NHSO has invited the clinics to take part in delivering treatment to infected people in the home isolation programme, said Dr Jadej Thammathach-Aree, the NHSO secretary-general.

The agency will meet interested clinics on Aug 3 to explain what the home isolation service entails, the criteria for disbursing funds to clinics taking part in the programme and how much the clinics will be paid for performing antigen tests on patients.

Dr Jadej said a rapid increase in caseloads, particularly among those in the green group -- people showing little or no symptoms -- has prompted authorities to look for more medical facilities to offer home isolation services.

The NHSO originally asked the Choom Chon Ob Oon ("Community Warmth") clinics -- contracted to provide care under the universal gold card scheme -- to participate in the programme. However, there were not enough to cope with the surge in infections.

"That's why the NHSO is reaching out to non-contract clinics," Dr Jadej said.

Privately-run clinics can sign up to join the programme immediately, he added.

"There are more than 3,000 privately-owned clinics in Bangkok alone, as opposed to some 200 NHSO-contracted clinics in the capital.

"If non-contract clinics can take part in the programme, they can help deal with a great many green-group sufferers," Dr Jadej said.

They will not run into legal problems for being a non-contract party entering the programme, he assured.

The NHSO secretary-general said the Department of Health Service Support has issued an announcement permitting clinics to offer care under the home isolation arrangement. It went into effect on July 9.

Meanwhile, people who test positive for Covid-19 using an antigen test kit can be admitted to the home isolation programme without having to undergo RT-PCR testing and wait for confirmation.

If an antigen test, which returns a fast result, shows an infection, the person can call the 1330 hotline or use the @nhso Line chat to apply for entry to the home isolation programme straight away, deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said yesterday.

Those unable to proceed with home isolation care have the option of community isolation programmes and hospitels that are available to take them in.

Care coverage is being expanded so more people can access medical services more easily within a short period of time.

Even though people whose antigen test turns out positive for Covid-19 are being categorised as probable cases, as defined by the Department of Disease Control, they are equally as eligible for the home isolation programme as those who test positive via the RT-PCR test. Covid-19 sufferers in the home isolation programme are given a thermometer, a pulse oximeter and medicine.

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