Private hospitals told to show medical fees on websites

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BANGKOK, 10 June 2015 – In the latest bid to solve complaints about private hospitals’ unusually high medical fees, the Ministry of Public Health’s special committee has come up with new regulations to enable patients to pick hospitals and services they can afford. 

According to Public Health Minister Ratchata Ratchatanawin, his ministry will instruct all private hospitals to allow the general public to enquire about treatment fees and drug prices without having to be their customers first.

All hospitals must sell medicines for no more than prices specified in their price tags. They must allow their patients to use prescriptions to buy drugs at general drugstores, if the patients find medicine offered by hospitals too expensive.

The Ministry of Public Health and the Pharmacy Council will jointly regulate the standards of all pharmacies nationwide while the Ministry of Commerce’s products and services committee will be requested to issue regulations to make sure that drug outlets adhere to fair pricing and services.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health Service Support has been assigned to build a website containing fees of 77 types of operations that require pre-admission appointments of private hospitals across the country.

The Ministry in addition opens two hot lines: 02 193 7999 and 1330 for consumers wanting to complain about overpriced medical services. They can also call the Consumers Protection hot line 1166.