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SUNDAY, September 25, 2022
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Cabinet has not rejected outright Health Ministry's plan to end free Covid treatment: Anutin

Cabinet has not rejected outright Health Ministry's plan to end free Covid treatment: Anutin

WEDNESDAY, February 23, 2022

The Cabinet has only asked the Public Health Ministry to review its plan to remove Covid-19 from the list of conditions eligible for free emergency treatment and has not rejected the plan outright, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Wednesday.

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

Anutin said the Cabinet’s response aims to ensure the plan is considered thoroughly. He added that the plan did not aim to save expenses because money would come from the central budget for tackling Covid-19.

He went on to say that the ministry is dealing with the expansion of hotline 1330 to enable Covid-19 patients to receive treatment as soon as possible.

Anutin also thanked the government and private sectors, such as Zendai, for revealing problems related to the Covid-19 crisis, while insisting that beds in Bangkok and other provinces are still available.

Cabinet has not rejected outright Health Ministry's plan to end free Covid treatment: Anutin

He said the Public Health Ministry is cooperating with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration on “managing medical facilities without any conflicts”.

“The important thing is we have to make sure that the number of Covid-19 patients who develop severe symptoms and death will not increase,” he said. “Meanwhile, we have to accelerate administering booster doses to contain the spread of the virus.”

The minister said it is up to discussions between the Public Health permanent secretary and the Department of Disease Control director-general whether daily Covid-19 case reports would be cancelled or not, and the ministry will not correct or conceal the real number of cases.

Anutin also said the Department of Disease Control would ask the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to cut foreign tourists’ health insurance coverage from US$50,000 to $30,000 (970,000 baht) during a meeting on Wednesday.

He added that it would be appropriate to treat international tourists who are infected with Covid-19.