New UCS benefits in 2023
New UCS benefits in 2023
The National Health Security Office (NHSO) reveals new health benefits added to the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) in the 2023 fiscal year.
Starting from October 1, many medical services and items will be available for UCS beneficiaries.
These benefits include:
- Treatment for persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (Number of target patients is 320)
- Vital pulp therapy (56,300 patients)
- Dental implants (15,200 patients)
- Quality-guarantee emergency care admission in state hospitals (53,184 patients)
- Adult diapers (48,554 adults)
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis for 27,000 HIV-risked persons
- 14 types of high-cost drugs for 9,634 patients with rare diseases
- Immediate care (30,283 patients)
- Treatment for poisoning (7,598 patients)
- Primary care, including physical therapy, dental and home care, which the NHSO outreach target is at least 2,002,295beneficiaries)
The NHSO also added new benefits relating to health promotion and disease prevention, such as:
- Screening for hepatitis B in pregnant women
- Screening for thalassemia in pregnant women and their partners
- Screening for syphilis in pregnant women and their partners
- Smoking cessation hotline
- Mental health hotline
- Testing risk factors for heart disease and stroke
- Screening for cancer
- Screening for inherited metabolic disorder in newborns, using tandem mass spectrometry device.
- Screening for tuberculosis in high-risk groups.
- BRCA1/BRCA2 genetic testing in patients with breast cancer
In addition, the NHSO has implemented the strategy to upgrade the UCS and access to healthcare. This includes:
- Add Covid-19 treatment and vaccination into the UCS benefits package, resulting in the government’s annual budget allocation for health benefits relevant to the coronavirus.
- Push forward the increasing access to medications, including adding more drugs for cancer treatment and cannabis-related drug products.
- Increase access to treatment for type-two diabetes and hypertension.
- Increase the distribution of the Provincial Rehabilitation Fund, which provides funding to local governments supporting projects relevant to rehabilitation and physical therapy.
- Expand the target number of patients requiring knee replacement and cataract surgery.
For long-term care targeting elderly people, the NHSO has adjusted the reimbursement system to improve access to care. The adjustment includes:
- Accelerate the e-claim system by proceeding with transactions for health providers in every 15 days
- Allow patients living with chronic kidney disease to select the methods of care based on their preferences and needs.
- Health providers can claim medical fees for dialysis fluid and erythropoietin drugs for patients with kidney disease.
The NHSO secretary-general Dr Jadej Thammatacharee said that the improvement of UCS would never stop until health for all is achieved.
Introduced in 2002, the UCS covers healthcare for more than 47 million Thais who can access medical services regardless of their financial status.
The UCS is one of the three Thai government healthcare schemes that in combination cover healthcare for 99.99% of the Thai population.
The other schemes are Social Security Scheme and Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme.