SSO rolls back treatment policy for workers

SSO rolls back treatment policy for workers

The Social Security Office (SSO) has backed down from its decision to force some coronavirus patients to seek free medical treatment at designated hospitals under the existing social security scheme for employees.

SSO officials have already revised the decision and lifted the requirement restricting the treatment of Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms, said SSO secretary-general Boonsong Thapchaiyuth.

Approved by the SSO's medical committee on Wednesday, the revision allows state-run hospitals outside the social security system to be reimbursed for the treatment and care of Covid-19 patients, he said.

These hospitals will be paid 1,000 baht per patient receiving treatment, which normally involves the provision of medical advice and medication, such as favipiravir pills and herbal medication, he said.

The costs of home isolation, community isolation and hotel isolation services for Covid-19 patients under the social security system will continue to be covered, he said.

Prior to this, the SSO decided that members with mild symptoms must seek free treatment at their designated hospitals.

The decision sparked strong criticism from affected parties, including the Rural Doctor Society (RDS), an association of medical doctors working in state-run district hospitals across the kingdom.

Since these facilities aren't usually the main healthcare providers under the social security system, patients under the employee healthcare scheme would no longer be able to seek free treatment, unless an agreement is reached between the SSO and hospitals, the RDS said.

To ensure proper access to the necessary treatment, the RDS therefore urged the SSO to switch back to the previous Covid-19 healthcare system in which the National Health Security Office cleared reimbursements on behalf of various health schemes, it said.

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