Health systems development in Thailand: a solid platform for successful implementation of universal health coverage

by Viroj Tangcharoensathien, Woranan Witthayapipopsakul, Warisa Panichkriangkrai et al.
The Lancet – Published Online January 31, 2018

18 pp. 1.3 MB

Since 1975, targeted insurance schemes in Thailand for different population groups have improved financial access to health care until universal health coverage was implemented in 2002. Despite its low gross national income per capita in Thailand, a bold decision was made to use general taxation to finance the Universal Health Coverage Scheme without relying on contributions from members. Empirical evidence shows substantial reduction in levels of out-of-pocket payments, the incidence of catastrophic health spending, and in medical impoverishment. Remaining challenges include preparing for an ageing society, primary prevention of non-communicable diseases, law enforcement to prevent road traffic mortality, and effective coverage of diabetes and tuberculosis control.

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