Civil servants’ medical cover runs 10% over budget

Civil servants’ medical cover runs 10% over budget

The cost of providing medical cover for civil servants and other government employees during fiscal year 2015, ended Sept 30, was 6.42 billion baht, or 10.7%, over the allocated budget, according to the Comptroller General’s Department.

The department set the medical fees budget at 60 billion baht for fiscal 2015, so the excess will have to be taken out of the 2016 fiscal year budget, department director-general Manas Jamveha said.

The budget for fiscal year 2016 will then, in turn, have to draw on the 2017 budget, he said. The department will have to look into controlling the increasing cost of paying medical fees for government employees.

Mr Manas said the rise in payouts was the result of improvements in provision of services such as rooms, food, treatment and equipment, and prostheses, as well as adding new medications and updating prices of medicines.

Viroj Na Ranong, a researcher with the Thailand Development Research Institute, said payment of civil servants’ medical bills came under the “fee for service” system, so the cost could not be controlled.

It was also likely that the cost per head would be higher than the cost calculated for the Social Security Fund or the universal 30-baht medical fee, he said.

He said the government’s budget of around 60 billion baht annually had been maintained for sometime as the department had tried to control the cost by switching foreign to domestically manufactured medicines where possible.

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