The Ministry of Public Health revealed that Thailand spent a total of 444 billion baht on public health during the three years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Sunday (5 Mar), the ministry disclosed the cost of prevention, treatment and vaccination for all citizens in the kingdom from 2020-2022.

260 billion bahts spent on testing and treatment

According to the report, the cost of testing and treating people for COVID-19 accounted for over half the total spending at 260 billion baht.

Meanwhile, vaccine procurement and distribution expenses were estimated at 78 billion baht, based on an internal study. In addition, the government spent 57.5 billion baht in compensation to victims and as incentives to medical personnel during the pandemic.

1.5 trillion baht borrowed to stimulate the economy

From 2020 to 2022, the government covered the cost of treatment and vaccinations for all citizens, with the majority of the funding coming from the annual budget. In addition, the 1.5 trillion baht was borrowed to stimulate the economy and partially cover the cost of emergency public health services.

Dr Rungrueng Kitphati, chairman of the ministry’s intelligence unit, said the ministry’s assessment found that the financial status of hospitals under the jurisdiction of the ministry improved when compared to pre-pandemic performance. This suggests that the funds allocated to supporting hospitals and related agencies were overall sufficient in helping them cope with COVID patients.

Despite the government’s efforts to build a different decision-making framework for healthcare financing during the pandemic, the director highlighted that the norms and procedures for fund utilization remain largely unchanged. As a result, the lack of differentiation impacted the speed and effectiveness of the pandemic response.

Dr Rungrueng added that these assessments would help the government implement changes to effectively address similar circumstances going forward.

Information and Source

  • Reporter : Paul Rujopakarn
  • Rewriter : Tarin Angskul
  • National News Bureau :

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