Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed City Hall to ensure timely medical treatment for people infected with Covid-19 following complaints they cannot access medical care.
Gen Prayut said yesterday he had called Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang in to inquire about the problem after numerous people had complained that they could not access medical care under the government's outpatient scheme for Covid-19 patients which took effect on March 1.
Mr Aswin has promised to look into the matter to improve the service, Gen Prayut said, adding that many people still had no idea about the service
Under the scheme, people who test positive but show only mild or no symptoms, can receive prescribing favipiravir or fah talai jone, and other medications if doctor's consider them necessary.
They can also seek assistance at hospitals where their health insurance or public welfare was registered.
For those infected who have underlying health issues, self-isolation at home with the aid of telemedicine or receive care at community isolation facilities, and hospitels (hotel-cum-hospital) is recommended. Those with severe symptoms will be looked after at hospitals.
The outpatient service is part of the Public Health Ministry's plan to downgrade Covid-19 to an endemic disease that can be treated with self-care, and to save hospital beds for those patients with severe symptoms in need of intensive care. Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the prime minister has instructed the Bangkok governor to speed up the outpatient service at all 69 hospitals and public health centres run by the BMA.
The Public Health Ministry has also ordered its hospitals in 14 other provinces, including Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Saraburi, and Nakhon Nayok, to consolidate their resources so they can provide medical care under the scheme, he said.
Meanwhile, Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said yesterday that no ban would be imposed on inter-provincial travel during the Songkran festival.