Vachira Jampatong, a public relations officer at the hospital, told The Phuket News today (Apr 9) that the new fee is being introduced in accordance with a change in policy issued by the Ministry of Health in Bangkok.
“It is an order from the Ministry of Public Health, which has ordered all hospitals in the country to charge fees for non-emergency patients who come for treatment after normal clinic operating hours,” she said.
“The order says the fee is to be not more than B110, and so Vachira Phuket Hospital will charge only B100,” she said.
“The B100 is a medical service fee,” Ms Vachira explained
The “normal clinic operating hours” at the hospital are regular government office working hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.
However, the hospital also provides outpatient services for a period outside these regular office hours, which hospital administrators call “after hours service”: from 4:30pm-10pm, Monday-Friday, and 8:30am-10pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
“We will charge for treatment of ailments such as headaches, fever and diarrhea from all non-emergency patients who come to receive medical services during these ‘after hours’ periods,” Ms Vachira said.
“All outpatients who receive treatment during these hours will be charged the B100 fee. This includes foreigners and even if the patient has social security coverage or is registered under the B30 ‘gold card’ scheme,” she added.
“Also, this fee does not include the cost of all medicines provided. Patients must pay for medicines that are not already covered by government policy,” Ms Vachira explained.
“Vachira Phuket Hospital will start charging the B100 fee on May 1, 2019, and we will continue to do so until the Ministry of Public Health issues a new order,” she said.
Ms Vachira noted that people who present themselves for treatment outside the regular office hours and out side the “after hours” period must wait to be treated by the Accident & Emergency Department.
“Depending on the treatment provided, non-emergency patients may also be charged fees and for medicines provided by the A&E Department,” she said.