Thursday 13 May 2021
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asiaone - 23 days ago

Thailand s rich Covid-19 patients get hospitel treatment, as the poor are turned away

In the lobby of Bangkok s Pullman Grande hotel, medical teams clad in full-body protective gear shuttle back and forth, greeting well-heeled coronavirus patients as they arrive by ambulance for treatment. About 250 rooms in the five-star hotel have been repurposed as a temporary extension of the capital s Thonburi private hospital amid a rapid surge in new Covid-19 infections - with one-third of Thailand s more than 45,000 total cases being reported this month alone. In addition to field hospitals, at least 23 hospitels - a portmanteau of hotel and hospital - have opened in Bangkok in response to the surge, offering a form of luxury coronavirus quarantine for infected patients who exhibit little to no symptoms and do not have underlying health conditions. Under Thailand’s universal health care system, coronavirus patients can receive treatment at a public hospital free of charge, but a stay at the Pullman Grande “hospitel” can cost up to 12,000 baht  (S$509) per night, according to Nalin Vanasin, an executive committee member of the Thonburi Healthcare Group.


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