Published on December 25, 2007
He planned to ask the National Health Security Office (NHSO) board meeting on December 27 and 28 in Phetchabun province to urgently consider a co-payment system in the universal coverage of health insurance.
A co-payment system would require patients to pay fees, such as for special hospital expenses, which were beyond their basic entitlements.
Mongkol wanted the plan to be carried out by the board because it worked in public health and had complete information, rather than leaving the issue to politicians who might misunderstand the issues and cause difficulties in implementation.
"The co-payment system is a way of tackling the current problems in the universal health insurance coverage.
"Health is something that people should help pay for, especially in disease prevention and health promotion. People should not refuse responsibility when they find out they are sick. Nowadays Thais overuse medications, thinking it is all free.
"Many do not complete the required antibiotic dosage, which leads to drug resistance," Mongkol said.
NHSO secretary-general Sanguan Nittayarampong said that it would only take two meetings to reach a conclusion on the proposal because the information was already available.
It was up to the NHSO board to decide, he said. However, there were many different opinions as some board members were worried about equity, and it was not yet clear how such a co-payment procedure would be implemented.
As for the Council of State's interpretation that the NHSO could not implement the co-payment system, Sanguan said people should not have to co-pay for basic services or treatments such as normal hospital room expenses or the 25 per cent charge for medical treatment.
But for expenses beyond the basic entitlements, such as special hospital services and special nursing, people should be required to contribute, he said.