According to experts, it is best for the public health ministry to require all public hospitals to allow all foreign workers to be able to purchase their own health insurance. There are a lot of health insurance companies in Thailand but many do not have their own. This is also one of the reasons why the healthcare system of the country is currently suffering from financial deficit. Experts also view this as a solution to the growing number of children that are being abandoned.
In a recent forum that was conducted in partnership of Thai Health Promotion Foundation and TRF or Thai Health Reform Foundation, the number of abandoned children has increased. This increase is after it was revealed that in districts such as Tak’s Mae Sot and Phuket, many parents that are migrant workers are leaving their babies at the hospital due to lack of money to pay for their medical bills.
The abandonment of the babies is greatly attributed to the fact that there are hospitals that refuse to acknowledge the health insurance of the pregnant foreign workers but instead they are required to pay the full amount of medical fees after delivering their newborn.
There are those hospitals that have stopped accepting health insurance from migrant workers after their organization suffered in financial deficit due to the fact that they have provide care for foreign workers before and acknowledged their health insurance.
According to SurapongKongchantuk who used to be the head of Lawyers’ Council’s Human Rights Subcommittee on Ethnic Minorities, the Stateless, Migrant Workers and Displaced Persons, the financial issues that are currently being faced by the hospitals can be solved by following religiously the current rules given by the Public Health Ministry.
It is believed that if the health insurance system of the foreign workers is operated in an efficient manner, it will be able to bring profits to hospitals and other health providers. This is because the annual expense on insurance scheme is only 900 million baht while the payment for insurance by more than 1 million foreign workers reaches as much as 1.6 billion baht whichis more than enough to cover the cost. This should be settled with health insurance companies in Thailand as soon as possible in order to reduce the number of abandoned babies.