Speeches : Statement by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.) Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand at the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage 23 September 2019, Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York news3

Speeches : Statement by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.) Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand at the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage 23 September 2019, Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Unofficial translation


Statement by
H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.)
Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
at the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage
23 September 2019
Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York

 

Mr. President,

The success of Thailand’s healthcare stems from its Universal Health Coverage or UHC scheme which covers almost a hundred percent of the country’s population.  Investing in healthcare is indeed an investment both for the present and the future, as a healthy population is an important force in driving national development towards security, prosperity and sustainability. Achieving UHC is not just a dream. It can become a reality with commitment and determination and if we implement action step by step through appropriate measures according to our budget.

Mr. President,

I wish to take this opportunity to share Thailand’s UHC experience, which has been guided by the following three principles:

First, equity.  UHC must aim at fostering equality while leaving no one behind.  The Royal Thai Government has developed a healthcare system that is accessible to all groups. So that, they are able to access high quality services both for the private and the public sectors, especially treatment at the private hospitals for 72 hours in the case of emergency before a transferal to the public hospital. This has to include health promotion, prevention of diseases, including chronic and expensive diseases.

From the first of October this year, Thailand will expand its UHC benefit package to include the provision of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP to those with high risk of HIV infection.  This builds on the successful initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha, the UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for HIV Prevention in Asia and the Pacific.

Second, efficiency. The Royal Thai Government is determined to enhance UHC efficiency. We have earmarked 15% of the UC Scheme budget for health promotion. Despite budget constraints, we have increased the use of revenue from taxes on alcohol and tobacco, and supported the establishment of local health funds, as well as up-to-date financial measures, integration of fund, and a more effective disbursement of fund.

Third, participation. A key element in ensuring UHC sustainability in Thailand is participation by all sectors at all levels, including individuals, the communities, government agencies, the private sector and civil society, in line with the government’s “Pracharat” or Public-Private-People Partnership Policy, to instill a real sense of ownership and engagement by all stakeholders.  We also focus on promoting community-centred Primary Health Care services in order to reduce unnecessary illnesses.

Mr. President,

Thailand is committed to improving our UHC scheme to ensure greater equitable access by all, particularly the vulnerable and marginalized populations, to innovate and use technology at the general hospitals which will reduce the burden of travelling to hospital and will also reduce costs for treatment. We also organise one medical units for 30,000 members of the population and increase in-house patients in hospitals, as well as the ability to receive medication from pharmacy to doctor prescription in order to lessen the waiting time for medical prescription at the hospitals in order to reduce the congestion of large hospitals to solve the problem in a systematic way at the primary healthcare level.

We stand ready to share our knowledge and experiences, which other countries can adapt as appropriate, and to cooperate with all stakeholders towards a healthier future for the world. We attach a great important to primary healthcare and the importance of the healthcare system through exercise, through good nutrition, and through the reduction of costs in the healthcare system.

Thank you.