The Public Health Ministry is considering enforcing a plan to collect a 500-baht entry fee from tourists to help cover foreigners' unpaid medical bills at hospitals.
The plan is part of the ministry's policy to help take care of foreign visitors who get into accidents or fall sick in Thailand and seek treatment but cannot pay their medical bills.
Public Health Minister Pradit Sintawanarong said at this stage it has been agreed that foreign tourists who stay in Thailand no longer than three days must pay 30 baht per day for health insurance. Those staying longer than three days must pay 500 baht.
Dr Pradit said health insurance fees collected from foreign tourists would be submitted to the Finance Ministry, which would set up its own committee to manage the fees before distributing them to appropriate government agencies.
He said the ministry would spend part of the health insurance fees collected on developing hospitals and improving medical equipment.The rest would be spent on emergency care services for tourists and for funding trips back home for those who cannot afford flights.