CityNews Article Archive:
30 Baht Health Scheme Not Fair Say Protesters
CityNews – On 22nd August at the provincial hall, a group of 30 people calling themselves, “Group of People who Love Health Insurance, Chiang Mai’, led by Bussaba Kunakornsawas, secretary of the group, travelled to the provincial hall to submit a petition wishing to not pay the 30 baht for hospital bills.
According to the law, members of the public are asked to pay 30 baht per hospital visit as long as they have a social security health insurance card, or a gold card, as of 1st September 2012. In 2008 this payment was cancelled, but will be reinstated shortly.
Bussaba claims that the 30 baht fee creates social unbalance as those who are employed, or who are wealthy will not notice the 30 baht nominal fee, whereas the very poor, the ethnic minorities and unemployed will feel this cost much more. It will therefore make people feel as though they are not socially equal. Bussaba said that the 30 baht fee is negligible for the government and will not be used to improve service, as per government’s promise. In spite of the fact that 21 groups of people are already exempt from paying this (the very poor or disadvantaged, people who are doing good for the nation, etc.) this will, they claim, create a double standard which should not be enforced.
In 2003, the 30 baht scheme netted the government 1.073 billion baht only, a mere 1.9% of the total subsidy the government paid to cover medical costs. The group therefore are asking that those not wishing to contribute the 30 baht be exempt from the fee while those more able, and willing to do so, may.
The officials at the provincial hall have promised to raise this matter with authorities in the central government.
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