Deputy Minister: No decision yet on Covid care downgrade


DEPUTY PUBLIC Health Minister Mr. Sathit Pitutecha said today (Feb. 14) no conclusion has been reached yet on removing Covid-19 from Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients category with senior ministry officials still discussing this issue, Thai Rath newspaper said.

Sathit mentioned that Public Health Minister  Anutin Charnvirakul has assigned him to discuss this downgrade expected to be implemented during March 1- April 1 with the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr. Kiattipoom Wongrachit and other senior officials.

“As yet no announcement on removing Covid from critical emergency has been made, we are still drafting it. Earlier the number of patients was not high but after Chinese New Year it has tended to increase.

“Also if people are not adequately informed, there will be problems about getting medical service. It takes time to communicate to the public that once this announcement cancelling Covid from UCEP is made they must go to the hospital they are assigned to according to their medical benefit for treatment.

“If they go to a private hospital they are not eligible for they would be responsible for covering the expenses themself, just like other diseases,” he said.

Sathit added that there were other matters to be discussed including interpretation of insurance coverage and bed occupancy rate taking into Covid patients with comorbidities such as cancer who would need a bed despite being asymptomatic.

Another key issue is people living in condominiums in Bangkok because if the juristic person does not allow them to isolate themselves in their unit then a bed at a hospitel linked to a private hospital should be the alternative.


Top: Chiang Mai’s international exhibition and convention centre was converted into a field hospital. Photo: NNT

Home Page: Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha. Photo: Naewna

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