Bangkok Post

District of­fices over­whelmed as bent clin­ics shut

- POST RE­PORTERS Health · Pharmaceutical Industry · Medicine · Society · Health Care · Industries

>>The Na­tional Health Se­cu­rity Of­fice (NHSO) has urged pa­tients us­ing the 30 baht univer­sal health­care ser­vices whose clin­ics have been closed down for cor­rup­tion not to panic af­ter thou­sands flocked to district of­fices last week to trans­fer to other hos­pi­tals.

“Th­ese af­fected pa­tients can use any NHSO-af­fil­i­ated clin­ics and hos­pi­tals. Those clin­ics [in­volved in cor­rup­tion] may be closed but not their pa­tients’ rights to en­joy the 30-baht scheme,” Sakchai Kan­janawat­tana, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the NHSO, told the me­dia yes­ter­day.

The NHSO was forced to go be­fore the me­dia yes­ter­day af­ter thou­sands of pa­tients were re­ported to have turned up at 50 district of­fices in Bangkok dur­ing the week seek­ing trans­fer to other hos­pi­tals.

The Health Min­istry last week closed 82 clin­ics for mak­ing fraud­u­lent fi­nan­cial claims for ser­vices that pa­tients had never re­ceived.

The NHSO, which op­er­ates the univer­sal cov­er­age health­care scheme cov­er­ing 70% of the pop­u­la­tion, signed con­tracts with health clin­ics to pro­vide care for mem­bers in 2010 at a cost of around 250 mil­lion baht per year.

It is re­ported that one mil­lion pa­tients in Bangkok were reg­is­tered with the 82 clin­ics which have now closed.

Dr Sakchai con­firmed that those pa­tients who need on­go­ing treat­ment, such as kid­ney dial­y­sis, have al­ready been con­tacted by the NHSO about how to main­tain un­in­ter­rupted care.

He en­cour­aged ev­ery­one else to check the lo­ca­tions of NHSO-reg­is­tered health fa­cil­i­ties at https://reghosp.nhso.­pi­tal_search or use the 1330 NHSO hot­line and @ucbkk and @nhso Line ac­counts.

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