Thailand is among the few countries in the South East Asia region or among middle income countries worldwide, that boasts of a Universal Health Care (UHC) system, which allows access to publicly-funded healthcare without any co-payments and covers 98% of the population. UHC costs are financed through general taxation.
Thailand achieved Universal Health Coverage in 2002 and since then out-of-pocket expenditure for Thai citizens was reduced from 27.2% to 12.4%. Since the introduction of Universal Health Coverage, Thailand has also seen a reduction in infant and child mortality, HIV infections, the effects of diabetes, and workers’ sick days, as well as many other health benefits.
Thailand also has an excellent record in tackling the drivers of contagion over the decades. Starting in the seventies, it successfully tackled the problem of malnutrition, ensured provision of clean drinking water and access to sanitation facilities while creating a strong primary health care network in the rural areas.
All these efforts have had considerable impact on lowering burden of infectious diseases in the country, which are a major driver of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). For more explicit integration of AMR concerns, Thailand has already instituted a broad rational use of medicine policy within the Universal Health Coverage system in recent years and carried out awareness programs amidst both health professionals and the patient community groups.
AMR is likely to become a priority issue within the Thai Universal Health Coverage system as the focus shifts from access to quality of care and to cater to needs of specific disease groups or sections of the population, such as the elderly or those requiring surgery and longer-term hospitalization. Also, with Antimicrobial Resistance gaining a higher profile globally and also within Thailand there is likely to be greater coordination of AMR-related work that overlaps with or is complementary to functioning of the Universal Health Coverage system.
Case study by ReAct
The Kingdom of Thailand Health System Review. 2015. Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. http://apps.searo.who.int/PDS_DOCS/B5410.pdf (accessed on 7 April 2019)
Tangcharoensathien V, Limwattananon S, Patcharanarumol W, Thammatacharee J. Monitoring and evaluating progress towards Universal Health Coverage in Thailand. PLoS Med. 2014; 11: e1001726
More news and opinion from 2019
- ReAct’s 2019 wrap up and 2020 expectations
- Blog post by UNDP and ReAct: Antimicrobial resistance: An emerging crisis
- Water, sanitation and hygiene services critical to curbing antibiotic quick fix
- Diagnostics: Antibiotic susceptibility
- ReAct highlights during World Antibiotic Awareness week 2019
- 2019 AMR photo competition prizes announced
- Launch of UNICEF’s institutional guidance on antimicrobial resistance
- Proposed ban on colistin for animal use announced in Indonesia
- School children led celebration of World Toilet Day and World Antibiotic Awareness Week
- 10 Innovate4AMR-winning teams enjoyed 3-day workshop in Geneva
- After 4 collaborative meeting days: Actions for the future in Latin America
- Four key points from joint comments to One Health Global Leaders Group on AMR
- Why are children more vulnerable to AMR?
- Dr Yoel Lubell, Health Economist, on Thailand, AMR, UCH and cultural factors driving AMR
- UHC and AMR: The Thai Experience
- Why do effective antibiotics matter for quality of care and patient safety?
- New ReAct policy brief: Antimicrobial resistance and universal health coverage – What’s the deal?
- Three key takeaways from the ReAct Africa conference
- Diagnostics: Species identification
- AMR-specific indicator proposed for monitoring Sustainable Development Goals
- Five focus areas at the 2nd Ministerial Conference on AMR hosted by the Netherlands
- Safety concerns of fecal microbiota transplants
- Upcoming ReAct Africa Conference: universal health coverage and antimicrobial resistance in focus
- Mother Earth conference in Argentina – the environment in focus
- Diagnostics: What are we talking about?
- Connecting global to local civil-society-agenda on AMR at CSO convening in Geneva
- ReAct colleagues featured in WHO Bulletin as leading profiles in the work on reacting to antibiotic resistance
- RAN stakeholder at WHO IPC consultation – for standards and guidelines in African Union member states
- WHA conversation on Antibiotic Resistance as a Global Development Problem co-organized by ReAct
- Insights from ReAct Asia Pacific project on antibiotic stewardship in secondary level hospitals in India
- Open letter to UN Member States from former IACG members Anthony So and Otto Cars
- ReAct UHC Intervention at UNGA Multi-stakeholder Hearing for High-level Meeting on UHC
- ReAct Latin America honors Earth Day
- Medicines Patent Pool’s view on the role of licenses for antibiotics – World Intellectual Property Day
- Second time for Innovate4AMR competition!
- World Health Day 2019: Universal Health Coverage
- Diagnostics: Constraints for successful implementation
- Antibiotic Shortages: magnitude, causes and possible solutions: A new WHO meeting report
- Erry Setyawan, FAO, on Indonesian NAP: We need to work together to make it possible to manage AMR
- ReAct’s new 5-year strategic plan receives funding from Sida
- How infections spread and how to stop them
- Generating data for policy and practice