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Friday, January 27, 2023

Stopping free Covid19 treatments will lead to a new crisis in Thailand, one economics professor warns


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Stopping Covid19 treatments from the emergency list will affect low-income households and day labourers, warned Anusorn Thamjai, former dean of Rangsit University’s economics faculty.

He also said curbing the spread of the virus will also become more difficult as workers do not tell their employers they are infected, avoid treatment and isolation.

Without free treatment, Covid-19 will spread more in the low-income sector and ultimately have a greater impact on the economy, Anusorn warned.

However, he said that if the government keeps Covid19 on the emergency disease list, it will eventually make economic progress as the government will get more tax revenue to use for public health care.

He also believes that all Covid19 patients should receive free healthcare, as not many people have private health insurance.

This can be financed by transferring funds from the defence budget to the Ministry of Health until the crisis is over.

The Thai Life Insurance Association may also not cover daily reimbursement or treatment for people isolated at home if the government declares the Covid19 disease as endemic.

Before declaring it endemic, he said the government needs to be sure that the Covid19 virus will not spread, otherwise, the country may have to be closed again.

Meanwhile, he also warned that providing low-quality vaccines to students would not prevent infection and could put them at risk in the long run.

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