HIV-Positive Men Not Eligible for Thailand’s Proposed National Health Care
HIV-positive men will not be covered under the new national health care plan proposed by Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Under the plan, "underinsured" people can access any medical treatment for a 75-cent copay, and although HIV-positive women and children are eligible for the subsidized health care coverage, men with HIV are not. HIV/AIDS activists are insisting that the government provide health care for all HIV-positive people. Sen. Jon Ungpakorn, "a long-time campaigner for health care reform," has suggested that the national health insurance copayment be increased to approximately $48 per patient per year and include all people with HIV/AIDS. Ungpakorn added that the coverage must be "comprehensive" to draw in middle-class patients and keep the program from becoming "a third-class form of health care for the poor." Although the proposed health plan has not yet passed the parliament, officials have already distributed 45 million cards to potential beneficiaries. Approximately one million Thai residents are HIV-positive and 200,000 more have AIDS (Montlake, Christian Science Monitor, 8/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.