Thailand spent about 444 billion baht in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2022, according to Dr. Rungruang Kitpati, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry and head of the ministry’s intelligence unit, today (Monday).
The funding came mainly from the government’s Central Fund and public sector borrowing.
Of the 444.3 billion baht spent in the past three years addressing COVID outbreaks, 260.2 billion baht (59%) was spent on medical services, which include screening, treatment and vaccinations.
Procurement of vaccines and vaccine management cost 77.2 billion baht (17% of total spending) and 57.5 billion baht (13%) was used to cover allowances, compensation and risk payments for medical personnel, while the remainder was spent on medicines and medical equipment.
Dr. Rungruang disclosed that medical funding for state hospitals during the three years of the pandemic increased substantially, compared to just prior to the pandemic. Private hospitals have also seen increased revenues and expansion, which is indicative of sufficient medical infrastructure to cope with the pandemic.
The risk of bankruptcy among low-income households caused by medical spending during the pandemic was 30-33%.