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Review Covid emergency treatment criteria, Cabinet tells Anutin

The Cabinet on Tuesday asked the Public Health Ministry to review its pending removal of Covid-19 from the list of conditions eligible for free emergency treatment.

The ministry is due to remove Covid from the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients (UCEP) scheme on March 1.

Under UCEP, Covid patients receive three days free treatment at any facility before being switched to hospital treatment under their state health insurance scheme. But after March 1, the government will no longer pay for their emergency treatment at private hospitals.

The Cabinet confirmed that Covid patients will still receive free treatment for now under UCEP, government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said.

Meanwhile the Cabinet advised the Public Health Ministry to review the transition on March 1 and explain clearly to the public how they could get free hospital treatment for Covid-19. The explanation should include details of the planned UCEP-Plus scheme to treat coronavirus patients with moderate to severe symptoms.

Most cases in Thailand’s ongoing Omicron wave are categorised as mildly symptomatic (Green code) and eligible for home isolation or hotel-like (hospitel) treatment.

The country has opened over 200 hospitels with more than 36,000 beds, mostly located in the Bangkok metropolitan area, with both the public and private sectors providing care.

The Cabinet also urged the Health Ministry to increase the number of ways that the public could contact authorities for information and treatment, following complaints that the 1330 hotline was often busy.

Published : February 22, 2022