Enhancing the Primary Care System in Thailand to Improve Equitable Access to Quality Health Care
2nd National Health Assembly in Thailand, November 2009
6 Pages Posted: 25 Dec 2009 Last revised: 20 Jan 2010
Date Written: December 25, 2009
In Thailand, the primary care system is the first point of contact or gateway for people to access and utilize health services. It is an important mechanism for enabling people to access quality health care service on a continuous basis. It is also a measure to improve efficiency in health service use and allows people to achieve good health at a reasonable price. The primary care system is seen as a key mechanism and strategy to achieve health equity and progress on health system reform, and has received support from the World Health Organization for over 30 years, since 1978. Evidence from international and Thai literature indicates that the primary care system plays an important role in improving equity in health and equitable access to the public health care service. The Thai Statute on National Health System 2008, Chapter 6, Section 44 states that the objective of the national health services is to support the primary care system to be well accepted, respected, trusted, and be the first choice of medical care sought by the people. It has to be effectively linked with other levels of public health service systems, and support the local community to access health promotion services and better self-reliance.
This paper presents the reviews of current situation of primary care system in Thailand and its key challenges. Policy recommendations to enhance the primary care system in Thailand in order to improve equitable access to quality health services are proposed to the 2nd National Health Assembly in Thailand which was held during 16-18 December 2009 at the United Nation Conference Centre, Bangkok.
Keywords: Primary care, equity in health, equitable health system, efficiency, equity in access
JEL Classification: I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation