Bangkok Post

Govt eyes ‘household clinics’ for every province

- POST REPORTERS

The government is planning to add more mobile “household clinics” in every province in the next 10 years to help lessen overcrowdi­ng of state-run hospitals.

Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatay­adorn said the mobile teams called “household clinics” led by a doctor operate out of tambon hospitals. Upgraded from community health promotion units, the clinics care for people with non-serious illnesses.

The patients either come to the tambon hospital where the team works or are visited by the team at home if they are bed-ridden.

There are currently 596 teams active around the country. However, public health permanent secretary Sophon Mekthon said the government plans to set up another 650 teams in the next 10 years.

The household clinics treat people close to their homes so they do not have to visit the large state-run hospitals in the districts or provinces to receive treatment of nonserious sicknesses, thus helping to alleviatio­n overcrowdi­ng at the hospitals.

Dr Sophon said each team, led by a doctor, consists of medical practition­ers and personnel, including dentists, pharmacist­s, health care givers, and traditiona­l medicine experts.

They are rostered to work in the team and their work counts toward their normal office hours.

According to Dr Piyasakol, the government spends 150 baht per head in subsidy for people receiving medical services from the team. The Social Security Fund and the gold card universal health insurance scheme will find a way to provide the rest of the financial support needed in running the teams.

Dr Sophon said the teams have helped to substantia­lly cut the number of patients in many provincial hospitals and reduce the expenses people pay for travelling to the hospitals to receive treatment.

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