BANGKOK, 10 June 2019 (NNT) - After some private hospitals in Thailand were found to be charging their patients 16,000% higher than the recommended prices, the Ministry of Commerce has announced that it will oversee the issue to alleviate the hardships of patients. The Prime Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, said today the World Health Organization’s (WHO) resolution is in line with the government’s policy to ensure fair prices for medicines, medical supplies, and medical services.
The Deputy Government Spokesman, Lt.Gen. Werachon Sukondhapatipak, added that Prime Minister Prayut had acknowledged the WHO’s recent resolution of May 28 to improve the transparency of market pricing of medicines, vaccines and other health products. The resolution encourages its member countries to clearly display the true prices of medicines and medical supplies, increase the transparency of patent information, and allow the WHO to follow up on the situation on a regular basis.
The Prime Minister said the WHO’s resolution has shown that the measures implemented by the government are in line with international standards. Some of the measures include a regulation requiring private hospitals to clearly display the prices of medicines. Private hospitals are also required to provide cost estimates to patients before providing medical services. In addition, subcommittees have been set up in Bangkok and other provinces to receive complaints about unusually expensive treatments.
The Prime Minister has called on all sectors to ensure that every citizen has access to healthcare services fairly and efficiently. However, studies found that some hospitals were marking up their drugs and treatments by 300 to 16,000%. The Ministry of Commerce will call a meeting of relevant agencies to address the issue