18 Dec 2021
On 9 December 2021, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, gave welcoming remarks at the International Universal Health Coverage Day 2021 entitled “Leave No One’s Health Behind, Invest in Health System for All”. He reiterated Thailand’s success in advancing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) even with a moderate budget, as long as there are long-term policy commitment, continued investment, and multi-sectoral participation. UHC Day falls on 12 December of each year.
The event was co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Health, and the National Health Security Office (NHSO) in a hybrid format and attended by over 200 participants from the Diplomatic Corps, relevant agencies, and civil society.
In addition, H.E. Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health also joined the event to deliver opening remarks. He underscored Thailand’s experiences and the importance of access to affordable health services, which is becoming increasingly critical in the response to COVID-19. During the panel discussion on “UHC: the key system to fight COVID-19 and build back better”, speakers which include acting Senior Advisor from Ministry of Public Health, WHO Representative to Thailand, Chief Representative from JICA, Secretary-General from NHSO, and respresenstative from civil society organization, Thailand’s Youth Delegates to UNGA74 as well as youth who is a former stateless person, shared their ideas, experiences, challenges, and recommendations on how to further advance UHC to realize an even more inclusive UHC system. They also underlined the integration of UHC in the post COVID-19 recovery strategy for preparedness and response to future pandemics as well as the promotion of multi-sectoral approach at national, regional and global levels to achieve UHC.
Thailand’s Universal Health Coverage Scheme significantly contributes to the national efforts in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. It has strengthened public health infrastructure and laid a solid foundation for the provision of necessary basic healthcare. Such infrastructure also supports the country’s COVID-19 related health services including vaccination, which covers everyone regardless of their status or nationality.
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