The Thai cabinet approved an allocation of 8.45 billion baht from the Central Fund for the Ministry of Public Health today (Tuesday), to cover medical expenses for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, including procurement of anti-viral medicines, and risk payments and allowances for frontline medical professionals.
According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Traisuree Traisoranakul, 7.7 billion baht goes to the Office of the Permanent Secretary, 626.53 million baht to the Medical Services Department, 27.84 million baht to the Department of Mental Health, 13.53 million baht to the Department of Medical Sciences and 13.37 million baht to the Department of Health.
The money will be used to cover medical expenses for COVID-19 patients who are not covered by any health or social security scheme, risk payments for frontline medical personnel, such as those who vaccinate people, as well as for the procurement of medicines, such as Favipiravir, Molnupiravir, Fah Talai Jone and Paxlovid, which will be procured from Pfizer, said Traisuree.
The cabinet also approved an allocation of 811.77 million baht from the Central Fund for the Interior Ministry, as risk payments for frontline local officials, such as village headmen, assistant headmen, defence volunteers and local medics who were involved in the efforts to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19.
270,590 local officials will be eligible to 500 baht/month for six months, retroactively from October last year.
In 2020, the Provincial Administration Department was granted 677.79 million baht from the Central Fund to pay special allowances, amounting to 300 baht/month for the local officials involved in similar efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thailand’s COVID-19 confirmed cases have surged and then stabilised at over 20,000 a day, as restrictions are being gradually eased.