30-baht scheme expands its network
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30-baht scheme expands its network

Bangkok added to provinces where more services are now available at participating facilities

Customers buy medicine at a pharmacy in Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Customers buy medicine at a pharmacy in Bangkok. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Bangkok residents under the universal healthcare coverage programme, better known as the 30-baht scheme, can now seek certain basic healthcare services at any participating contracted clinics and pharmacies.

Bangkok is the latest of 46 provinces to enter a programme that aims to improve convenience for patients, and which is now estimated to cover 76% of the population (47 million people), said Treechada Srithada, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Public Health.

The other provinces include Roi Et, Phetchaburi, Narathiwat, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phangnga, Phetchabun, Sa Kaeo, Sing Buri, Buri Ram, Surin, Songkhla, Satun, Trang, Pattani and Yala.

People under the scheme in these provinces can seek primary care services at any participating healthcare units by simply showing their national ID card, she said.

If they need to be transferred to a larger hospital within their province or any of the other provinces taking part, they no longer have to request a hospital referral paper as their medical records will be shared on a common patient database.

The rest of the country is expected to join the scheme this year, when subscribers will be able to seek services at any contracted healthcare unit nationwide, said Ms Treechada.

The types of services that can be sought include free over-the-counter drugs for 16 basic ailments at contracted pharmacies; 32 basic medical treatments at contracted medical clinics such as wound dressing and prescribed injections; and 22 types of prescribed laboratory tests.

It also covers physical rehabilitation services as prescribed by a doctor, basic dental care services, medical examinations and associated treatments that do not require hospital admission, and Thai traditional medical therapies such as massage and herbal steam.

Patients are advised to look for the healthcare scheme’s logo when finding a clinic or a pharmacy near them to ensure it is a service provider taking part in this programme, said Ms Treechada.

Bangkok is the most challenging province considering its higher population density, said the spokeswoman.

“As for the other 30 provinces, please wait a little longer,” she said.

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