Government’s Universal Health Care Coverage Satisfies the People Most (21/08/2012)
Public Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri has quoted results of a survey showing that the Government’s Universal Health Care Coverage Program, generally known as the 30-baht health care program, satisfied the people most, among the Government’s programs.

The survey, conducted recently by the “NIDA” Poll, indicated that 85 percent of the respondents to the survey were satisfied with the low-cost health care program, which is one of the Government’s top policies.

According to Minister Wittaya, the Universal Health Care Coverage Program now covers 48 million people, or 75 percent of Thailand’s population. It is also recognized by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

He said that ASEAN and its three dialogue partners, namely China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, agreed to set up the universal health coverage network, with Thailand serving as the coordinator. The decision was made at the ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Meeting, held in Phuket, southern Thailand, in July 2012.

Minister Wittaya revealed that, in the 2012 fiscal year, the Government raised the per capita expenditure budget under the Universal Health Care Coverage Program to 2,755.60 baht per head. He stated that, in order to reduce disparity and make the healthcare rights of the people more equitable, the Government had improved medical services for the three funds - the Universal Health Care Coverage Program, which covers 48 million people; the Social Security Program, which provides medical services to nine million employees; and the Government Medical Service Program, which covers five million government officials and members of their families.

Starting in April 2012, patients who are registered under the three different health funds will be able to receive emergency treatment at hospitals outside the national health system, particularly at private hospitals. The policy is aimed at providing equal and standardized health services in case of emergency to save people’s lives.

Minister Wittaya said that the Government has a policy to promote health among the general public. A budget of 2,400 million baht has been allocated to subdistrict administrative organizations and municipalities to set up health care funds in their respective areas. The funds will be used for health promotion, disease prevention, health rehabilitation, and primary health care. Recently, the Government joined hands with 25 provincial administrative organizations in setting up rehabilitation funds for people with disabilities.

The establishment of all these funds is intended to improve Thai people’s health, reduce the number of patients, and ensure medical services of good quality for everyone.

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