NHSO seeks B207bn for health

NHSO seeks B207bn for health

Universal scheme to cover Covid-19 treatments in 2023

Jadet: Gets priority status
Jadet: Gets priority status

The National Health Security Office (NHSO) is seeking 207 billion baht to cover the 2023 universal healthcare scheme along with its added healthcare benefits that cover Covid-19 tests and treatments.

The NHSO's board, chaired by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, met on Thursday and decided the cabinet should set aside a fund of 207 billion baht for the scheme in the 2023 fiscal year.

The NHSO's proposed budget covers the minister's policies, including upgrading universal healthcare scheme services and promoting medical cannabis, medical innovations and a telemedicine programme.

The proposal also covers 26 additional healthcare benefits to be announced sometime next year and the procurement of medicines, vaccines and medical supplies by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO).

Jadet Thammathat-Aree, secretary-general of the NHSO, said the spending plan was prepared to be in line with the government's policy framework and work plans.

He said the NHSO considered entities' previous performance and factors like inflation, higher wages and costs.

Of the proposed budget, 61.8 billion is earmarked to cover salary costs, while the rest is meant for the National Health Security Fund (NHSF), the NHSO secretary-general said.

Services covered by the scheme include treatments for HIV/Aids patients, patients with chronic renal failure, prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and health services for bed-ridden patients in communities.

Dr Jadet said the budget planning also factors in Covid-19, which is expected to become an endemic disease like the flu.

About 1.35 billion baht is earmarked for tests and treatment of Covid-19 as well as compensation for people suffering the severe side effects of vaccines against the virus, he said.

About 14.7 billion baht is earmarked for the procurement of drugs, vaccines, medical supplies and artificial organs sourced by the GPO, he said, noting the figure is an increase of 4.2% when compared with the budget for the 2022 fiscal year.

Dr Jadet said the NHSO's board has also approved a proposal as a budget priority if the proposed plan faces budget cuts.

The government approved a budget of 198 billion baht for the NHSF with a per-head payment of 2,975 baht for the 2022 fiscal year.

In the 2021 fiscal year, the cabinet approved a budget of 204.8 billion baht for the fund, an increase of 2.9 billion baht from the 2020 fiscal year.

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