ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
Discussion of the Universal Health Coverage (UC) law amendment continues with a co-payment option still on the table, while the separation of public health workers’ salary from the UC fund is still in dispute. And no easy resolution is in sight.
The committee to consider the National Health Security Bill met on Thursday to discuss the many hot issues raised by a proposed new amendment to the law, including co-payment by patients, salary segregation from the UC fund, and the issue of mass drug purchases for the nation’s three health schemes.
Dr Narongsak Angkasuwapla, a member of the committee, noted that this was the last meeting of the committee and a report of their discussions would be summarised and handed over to the Public Health Minister by next week. The report will not include conclusions about the best approach for solving the controversial issues.
Narongsak said all five points of concern raised by the civil society sector were discussed at the meeting. He said the committee debated the whole scope of the law and divided it into 14 topics, which were all discussed, analysed, and commented on.
On the hot issue of co-payments for medical care, Narongsak said the committee favoured retaining Article 5 of the law and allow co-payments to the UC scheme. He insisted that there will be no co-payment at the service point.
However, regarding the money spent from the UC fund to pay health workers’ salaries, he said the committee reached no conclusion. He said the issue needs proper consideration and judgement in weighing the pro’s and con’s. The issue is also linked with the survival of public hospitals, he says.
Regarding the issue of purchase of medicine, Narongsak noted that the National Health Security Office (NHSO) has done good work purchasing quality cheap pharmaceuticals over the past 10 years. Due to legal issues, the committee needed to change the practice and allow the Public Health Ministry to supervise drug purchases for all three government health schemes.
“The Public Health Ministry will not take away power from NHSO,” he insisted, “but this will let these two agencies work together and assure the people’s confidence on our health security system.”