Govt to end special insurance coverage for Covid-19 patients

Govt to end special insurance coverage for Covid-19 patients

Chatuchak Weekend Market comes to life with many people visiting this popular venue in Bangkok on June 26. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
Chatuchak Weekend Market comes to life with many people visiting this popular venue in Bangkok on June 26. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Medical services for Covid-19 patients must be paid for by their own or by pre-existing health insurance schemes after Thailand enters a post-pandemic stage on July 1, the government said.

National Health Security Office (NHSO) deputy secretary-general Attaporn Limpanyalert said on Wednesday the Public Health Ministry’s plan to declare the country in a post-pandemic stage on Friday would return medical services to normality. This meant that Covid-19 infected people would have to rely on their own health insurance coverage for medical services, or pre-existing schemes such as social security or the universal health care programme. Before transferring patients to other hospitals, patients' conditions would be assessed and the Covid-19 illness would be treated like a common cold, Dr Attaporn said.

“During the pandemic, many people fell ill, prompting state agencies to mobilise support from the private sector. At the time, Covid-19 patients could seek treatment at hospitels or elsewhere.  As the situation improves, the treatment system has to be adjusted because Covid-19 is not as severe as before,’’ said the NHSO deputy secretary-general.

Since early 2020, more than 150 billion baht had been used for Covid-19 treatment, he added. During a meeting of the NHSO board on July 4, the free distribution of Covid-19 antigen test kits (ATK) at pharmacies would be reviewed, and might be scrapped or extended. According to the Department of Disease Control’s criteria, ATK tests will be taken only when people develop symptoms, not as a frequent precaution as in the past. 

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