11 July 2024

Starting on January 8, Thai nationals will be able to access free medical services, at government and selected private hospitals contracted by the government, in Phrae, Roi-et, Phetchaburi and Narathiwat provinces by just producing their ID cards.

Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew said that Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will preside over the launch of this Phase I universal healthcare program, an extension of the Bt30 health program initiated by the now defunct Thai Rak Thai party.

Phase II of the program is scheduled to be launched in March in Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, Sing Buri, Phang-nga, Nong Bua Lamphu, Amnat Charoen, Nakhon Ratchasima and Sa Kaeo.

Phase III will be launched in April, said the minister, adding that he expects that the program will be implemented nationwide within the next year.

Last week, the cabinet approved a Bt217 billion budget to fund the universal health care program, which is also accessible by migrant workers, but they will be required to show their passports or social security cards.

The average medical coverage for each Thai national under this program is set at Bt3,472.24.

Dr Cholnan said that this program will have to be approved by parliament before it comes into effect. “However, that disbursement of the budget will not be affected, even though there may be a delay in the parliamentary process.”