8 more provinces added to UHC

8 more provinces added to UHC

Members of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) scheme will be allowed more options when seeking medical services using only their ID card as eight more provinces are now included in the policy.

The National Health Security Board on Wednesday approved a proposal to expand the UHC digital health platform to eight more provinces -- Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, Sing Buri, Phangnga, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Amnat Charoen, Nakhon Ratchasima and Sa Kaeo, said Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew, in his capacity as chairman of the board.

The expansion means that anyone registered under the UHC can identify themselves using their ID cards when seeking health services at any of the participating facilities in the provinces. Patients' health records will be accessed, stored, updated and linked up electronically among the authorised health providers.

The first four provinces where the project has been piloted since Jan 7 are Phrae, Phetchaburi, Roi Et and Narathiwat. The project is expected to cover all provinces by the end of this year.

At its meeting held on Wednesday, the board reviewed a report summarising achievements and challenges in the first phase.

A total of 541 medical clinics, dental clinics, pharmacies and other privately run healthcare facilities have taken part in the first phase. "The number of participating healthcare providers exceeded our target of only 478," said Dr Cholnan.

He also said that new technologies, including AI, have been introduced into the system to improve accuracy and speed.

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