The Board of the National Health Security Office (NHSO) has yesterday approved an increased budget of 221.5 trillion baht for the National Health Security Fund for the 2024 fiscal year. This is an increase of over 17 billion baht from the 2023 fiscal year, to support the expanded coverage of the universal health coverage programme, commonly referred to as the gold card or 30-baht programme.
Dr Chonlanan Srikaew, the Minister of Public Health and Chairperson of the National Health Security Board (NHSB), chaired a meeting yesterday where the Board approved a budget increase for the National Health Security Fund. The Fund's budget for the 2024 fiscal year was raised from 212.4 billion baht to 221.5 billion baht, marking an increase of 17.3 billion baht. This adjustment was made in accordance with the Cabinet resolution to revise the national budget ceiling from 3.35 trillion to 3.48 trillion baht.
The NHSB had therefore to reconsider its budget, which will be presented for Cabinet approval once again. The overall plan has been developed to be in line with the objectives of the National Health Security Act of 2002 and the Fund's operational plan, which includes a salary allocation of over 200 billion baht, and is equivalent to an annual per capita expenditure of 3,539 baht.
Secretary-General of the NHSO Jadej Thammatacharee said the increased budget of 17.38 billion baht is divided as follows:
Continuation of existing services from the 2023 fiscal year : 8.29 billion baht.
Existing services in line with government policy: 6.16 billion baht.
New services/new benefits in line with government policy: 108.99 million baht.
New services/new benefits for the 2024 fiscal year: 12.57 million baht.
Implementation of the Diagnosis-Related Group-based reimbursement system, version 6: 2.80 billion baht.
The gold card programme was initiated in 2002 during the first Thaksin Shinawatra government. Originally, the scheme required a co-payment of 30 baht per illness, hence the name by which it is still commonly known. It went through a series of reforms throughout the years and expanded its coverage to include more treatments.