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Thailand: Health Care Schemes May Be Merged

June 19, 2012

At a national conference to announce Thailand's 2012-16 strategic plan to prevent HIV/AIDS, a top official said the government is taking steps to ensure that people living with the disease can access the same treatment and medicines anywhere in the country.

Dr. Sorakij Bhakeecheep, manager of the National Health Security Office (NHSO)'s Fund of HIV/AIDS and TB, said the proposal under consideration would merge the government's three health care plans to offer equal benefits to HIV/AIDS patients beginning Oct. 1. This means health care professionals will provide the same treatment regardless of what plan patients belong to and where they live, and they will share patients' medical records as well.

"We are now talking about how we can merge the management of each health care fund together in relation to people living with HIV/AIDS, so they have continuous access to drugs and treatment," said Sorakij. The proposal will be put to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at a meeting on June 21. "If the prime minister agrees with this idea, we will go ahead."

The three plans are NHSO, the Social Security Office and the Civil Servant Medical Benefit. Thailand has approximately 481,770 people living with HIV/AIDS, and the Public Health Ministry estimates 10,097 new cases are diagnosed each year.

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Excerpted from:
The Nation (Bangkok)
06.15.2012; Pongphon Sarnsamak

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