In a move aimed at revolutionizing the accessibility and efficiency of Thailand’s universal healthcare program, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has issued a directive to Public Health Minister Dr. Cholnan Srikaew. The directive entails the establishment of a dedicated committee tasked with ushering in a new era of healthcare services for the public. A key objective of this initiative is to eliminate the existing requirement that mandates patients to first visit their designated hospitals before seeking medical care.
The newly formed committee will concentrate its efforts on a multifaceted approach that includes the digitization of the referral process, a reduction in cumbersome paperwork, and the seamless transfer of patients to alternative healthcare facilities when deemed necessary. While patients will still necessitate a referral document, this process will undergo significant streamlining to enhance its overall efficiency.
In an effort to mitigate hospital wait times and enable the delivery of medications to patients without the necessity of in-person hospital visits, the reform plan seeks to bolster convenience and reduce healthcare costs.
Crucially, the proposed changes will bestow patients with the liberty to seek medical attention at the hospital of their choosing, a paradigm shift akin to individuals holding private health insurance policies. The overarching aim is to institute a patient-centric healthcare service model that prioritizes individual choice.
Dr. Cholnan, the Public Health Minister, expressed that the policy guidelines, segmented into 13 distinct groups for implementation, squarely align with the Prime Minister’s overarching health policy, which places a strong emphasis on efficiency and improved access.
In tandem with this transformative endeavor, a dedicated committee will also be instituted, devoted to the advancement of the national health system. This committee will be chaired by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, with the capable leadership of Dr. Surapong Suebwonglee as its secretary.
Furthermore, the Public Health Minister articulated his intentions to engage in discussions with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to champion the enactment of a specialized law that addresses the workforce requirements of the healthcare sector while affording it greater flexibility than the existing CSC regulations allow.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s visionary directive and the establishment of these committees signal a pivotal moment in Thailand’s healthcare landscape, promising enhanced accessibility, efficiency, and patient-centered care for all citizens.