Thailand Adds Covid-19 to National Healthcare Program

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha puts a mask on a school student during an exhibition at Government House on March 3, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul confirmed on Monday that the board of the National Health Security Office (NHSO) has approved the inclusion COVID-19 into its health care coverage program.

Anutin said that a 3.5-billion-baht (111.3 million U.S. dollars) budget will be sought from the contingency budget for treatment in the remaining seven months of fiscal 2020 ending in October.

“The budget will include costs such as prevention, awareness campaigns, diagnosis and treatment to rehabilitation, for the 48.3 million members of the national health program, also known as the gold card,” Anutin said.

“Actually state hospitals serving COVID-19 patients have already listed the latter into the universal healthcare program before the NHSO had officially endorsed it,” said NHSO secretary-general Dr Sakchai Kanchanawattana on Monday.

Anutin also said that the local NHSO funds, in collaboration with local administration organizations, can also tap the fund to prevent the outbreak and promote awareness in densely populated communities.