The Nation



Official reassures beneficiaries dropped from Bt30 scheme

Underprivileged or marginalised people who were stripped of their entitlements to free or low-cost government medical services because of communication problems within the Public Health Ministry still have rights as beneficiaries of the scheme, a deputy permanent secretary of the ministry said yesterday.

A total of 202,139 beneficiaries under the so-called Bt30 universal healthcare scheme run by the National Health Security Office are in this situation, said Dr Songyos Chaichana. Because of internal communication problems within the NHSO, their names were recently dropped from a list under the scheme. However, the official said their original rights still stood.

Most of these beneficiaries are hilltribe people or Thais living in remote areas, or people with unclear nationalities born or residing in Thailand. Songyos said the ministry had issued an order to make sure that NHSO or government hospitals and clinics provide medical services to these people according to professional ethics and regulations.

The ministry and the NHSO held a meeting last month to ensure that the former would continue to support payment of the per-head subsidy for the Bt30 universal healthcare scheme to the latter.

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