B204bn gold card budget to cover Covid treatments, cannabis medicines

B204bn gold card budget to cover Covid treatments, cannabis medicines

Hotline staff at the National Health Security Office are seen at work. (Photo: NHSO)
Hotline staff at the National Health Security Office are seen at work. (Photo: NHSO)

The National Health Security Office's (NHSO) board has approved a spending plan for the 2023 universal healthcare scheme, which covers Covid-19 treatments and new healthcare benefits.

Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the board met on Monday and green lit the funding proposed by a subcommittee headed by Duangta Tancho.

The plan covers the universal healthcare "gold card" scheme, the procurement of medicines, vaccines and essential medical supplies and additional healthcare benefits.

Earlier, the cabinet allocated 204.14 billion baht to support the scheme during the 2023 fiscal year, an increase of 5.24 billion baht in 2022.

Mr Anutin said that 161.6 billion baht was earmarked for the universal healthcare scheme and would be distributed to state hospitals nationwide based on a capitation system — 3,385.98 baht per head.

He said the board had also approved new schemes to ensure better access to healthcare and improve efficiency.

Meanwhile, Dr Jadet Thammathat-aree, secretary-general of the NHSO, said the spending plan included 1.35 billion baht for Covid-19 treatment for in-patient and out-patient services as well as compensation for people suffering from severe side effects of vaccination.

Among additional benefits to made available in the 2023 fiscal year are care for persistent pulmonary hypertension in new-born babies, dental care, HIV-PEP drugs and the inclusion of 14 additional medicines on the drug list.

He said several traditional cannabis-based medicines had also been added to the universal healthcare coverage with 44.41 million baht set aside for the treatments.

He said the board also approved a plan to procure drugs, vaccines and necessary medical supplies under a budget of 12.16 billion baht.

National Health Security Office secretary-general Jadet Thammathat-aree (Photo: NHSO)



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