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Kidney patient care faces budget cuts


THE NATIONAL Health Security Board (NHSB) is planning to reduce the budget for kidney patients receiving treatment under the universal healthcare scheme.

Assoc Prof Dr Prasobsri Ungthavorn, who chairs the NHSB subcommittee on medical services needed for maintaining health and life, said on Monday that doctors’ decisions between hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis could result in cheaper care. 
She added that better management of renal replacement therapy could also help.
Her subcommittee’s proposal on the budget was approved on Monday.
NHSB chair and Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn said relevant authorities would explore new technologies for renal replacement therapy. 
“Prevention is also an important part. If we can reduce the number of patients, we will also be able to reduce the budget,” he said. 
Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Sopon Mekthon said studies showed if renal replacement therapy is delayed by up to seven years it could save about Bt10 billion in dialysis cost. 
This year, the universal healthcare scheme sought a Bt15 billion budget – Bt7 billion for the normal budget and Bt8 billion for extra funds – for renal replacement therapy.
In response to NHSB decision, the Royal College of Physicians of Thailand and the Nephrology Society of Thailand will be asked to review which treatment methods should be applied for people suffering from chronic kidney failure. 
Clinical results, cost efficiency and other relevant matters will be considered. 

Published : August 08, 2017

By : THE NATION