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Free treatment for all virus patients

All hospitals must treat Covid-19 cases, to be repaid by three funds later.

All coronavirus patients will be treated for free at all hospitals in Thailand, with the costs paid by three healthcare funds, effective retroactively from March 5.

Under a Public Health Ministry announcement, all hospitals, public and private, must do their best to treat Covid-19 patients without delay until they are out of immediate danger or transferred to other hospitals based on their coverage. They may not charge the patients but can bill the National Health Security Office (NHSO) later.

A patient will have to pay medical bills only when he chooses not to be treated at the hospital he is entitled to use.

Arkhom Praditsuwan, deputy director-general of the Health Service Support Department, said it would take the NHSO no more than 45 days to check the bills and inform the funds to repay hospitals.

All Thais are covered by one of the three health funds. Employees in the private sector, Thai and foreign, who make contributions to the Social Security Fund are covered by it. Civil servants are covered by the welfare programme for government officials. The rest are covered by the universal healthcare scheme managed by the NHSO.

The funds will repay hospitals within 15 days after receiving the documents from the NHSO, Dr Arkhom said.

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