Ministry considers closing hospitels, hotel isolation facilities for Covid
The Public Health Ministry is considering scrapping the hospitel and hotel isolation system for treatment of Covid-19 patients as most infected persons are now being treated as outpatient self-isolation (OPSI).
Dr Thares Krainairawiwong, director-general of the Department of Health Service Support, said on Wednesday that they planned to make the suggestion to Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and expected it to be officially announced by September 1.
Thares said the latest survey revealed that only 11 hospitels and six hotel isolation centres remain open, compared to 76 hospitels and 31 hotel isolation centres available when the outbreak had reached its peak in Thailand last year. These 17 establishments that are still open have a combined capacity of only 4,720 beds.
“Currently most of the infected patients are having mild or no symptoms and can be treated under the OPSI system or via home isolation, therefore the need for these hospitels and hotel isolation is growing smaller,” he added.
Thares added that besides OPSI, patients also have the option to receive Covid-19 treatment via the National Health Security Office (NHSO)’s telemedicine system.
Currently three applications have been commissioned by the NHSO to treat Covid patients. They are Clicknic that focuses on patients in vulnerable groups (those over 60 or suffering from any of eight underlying conditions), Good Doctor Technology, and MorDee, that only accept “green” patients or those with mild conditions.
The NHSO is also working with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to establish Covid-19 kiosks in shopping malls or community centres where infected persons can conveniently get diagnosed and receive prescription from doctors.