Many Private Hospitals Fail to Provide Medical Costs

Thirty-seven private hospitals have been ordered to submit information on actual costs and listed prices of drugs, medical supplies and medical services to the Internal Trade Department by Aug 31 or face legal action.

According to director-general Whichai Phochanakij, 37 of 353 private hospitals missed the July 31 deadline to provide the information.

In addition, 14 were found to have submitted incomplete information, with four hospitals disqualified, and some had closed or been converted into clinics.

Of the 345 medicine suppliers, 240 have submitted the required information, 81 have yet to do so and 19 are exempt because they don’t supply their products to private hospitals. The remaining five could not be contacted.

Medical costs and set prices will be updated on the department’s database so that the public can compare prices and make informed choices.Ads by AdAsiaYou can close Ad in 5 s

Once the prices have been compiled and adjusted, the department will publish the information on its website. As sell, QR codes will be posted at hospitals for the public to scan so that they can check  prices. The first QR codes will be made available on Aug 16.

The measure is in response to growing complaints about overly expensive drugs and services at privately run hospitals.

Mr Whichai said those failing to respond to a summons to provide the information will be subject to a three-month jail term and/or a fine of 5,000 baht. Those failing to provide the information face a one-year jail term and/or a 20,000-baht fine plus an additional daily fine of 2,000 baht until they are in compliance.

Any hospital that fails to post QR codes to display prices, fails to provide estimated medical treatment costs and fails to provide prescriptions that clearly state indications, details and prices of drugs could result in a five-year prison term for executives or a fine of up to 100,000 baht or both.

Executives found to be selling at exaggerated prices will be subject to a maximum seven years in jail and/or a fine of 140,000 baht.