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Source: Thailand Medical News  Jan 28, 2019  5 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, 1 day, 10 hours, 33 minutes ago

The Fight to Save Private Healthcare in Thailand

The Fight to Save Private Healthcare in Thailand
Source: Thailand Medical News  Jan 28, 2019  5 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, 1 day, 10 hours, 33 minutes ago
In recent years, various agencies within the Thai government have made concerted efforts to curb private medical institutions’ independence by installing burdensome regulations -- most recently by seeking to control what these businesses can charge for specific medicines, procedures, and supplies. Their basic rationale is that cost controls and other measures are necessary to ensure the best service for the Thai people. However, implementing these types of controls threatens the success of the crucial private healthcare sector, which contributes substantially to the Thai economy.

The Fight to Save Private Healthcare in Thailand

On Tuesday, January 22nd  2019, the Commerce Ministry succeeded in a preliminary plan to control prices of medical supplies and services in private hospitals under the guise of increasing access for the general public. However, many foresee the negative consequences of such a move, concerned over economic ramifications and loss of quality in privately-run hospitals and other providers.

Moving forward, the government has convened a sub-committee with members of the Public Health Ministry, the Commerce Ministry, the Thai Life Assurance Association, and others to hammer out the details of the plan to limit private hospitals’ freedom to set their own prices according to market demand.

Background

As Thai Private Hospital Association president Pongpat Patanavanich noted during a January 11 meeting with the Commerce Ministry in an attempt to delay the potential devastation caused by a move toward fixed prices, “… all Thai people are eligible for free basic medical services under the universal healthcare scheme.”

There a