Dr Winai Sawasdivorn, secretary-general of the National Health Security Office (NHSO), said that as the government is integrating emergency medicine welfare, it is also planning to offer equal medical services to HIV/AIDS patients and patients with terminal renal failure who are members of three funds namely the National Health Security Fund (that supports the 30-baht medical welfare scheme), the Social Security Fund and the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme. The movement focuses on the provision of continuous quality treatment although patients change their fund membership. For example, when a patient with terminal renal failure ends his membership with the Social Security Fund, he automatically becomes attached to the 30-baht medical welfare scheme. In this case, he can receive continuous treatment at his old hospital right away. This will take effect on October 1, 2012.
For HIV/AIDS patients, regulations for the reception of antiretroviral medicines under the three funds must be standardized because they have not met the requirement of the World Health Organization that patients must receive antiretroviral drugs with the CD4 cell count of 350 cells per cubic millimeter. At present, the CD4 level imposed in Thailand stands at 200. The issue will be discussed and proposed to the National Health Security Board.
At present, 225,272 HIV/AIDS patients are receiving antiretroviral drugs. Of the people, 148,357 or 65.9% are under the 30-baht medical welfare scheme, 46,114 or 20.5% exercise their rights as members of the Social Security Fund, 12,059 or 5.4% are under the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme, and 18,742 or 8.3% are in other welfare systems. There are 38,780 patients with terminal renal failure. Of them, 20,077 exercise their rights under the 30-baht medical welfare scheme, 9,193 depend on the Social Security Fund, and 8,810 receive welfare from the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme.
Source: Naew Na newspaper’s September 5, 2012 edition
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