The Partnership Project for Global Health and Universal Health Coverage
Thailand and Participating Countries (in and out of ASEAN countries)
January 27, 2016
July 14, 2016 to July 13, 2020
Ministry of Public Health, National Health Security Office
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
In 2002, Thailand launched the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS) targeting the population that had not been insured by the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme (CSMBS) and the Social Security Scheme (SSS). This significant health reform enabled 99.5 percent of the total population of Thailand to be covered by one of these three health schemes.
Thailand has been known worldwide for achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) ahead of other low-middle income countries. Through its rich experiences, Thailand has actively assisted other developing countries in recent years in working towards UHC and played a key role as chairperson and secretariat for ASEAN Plus Three UHC network, established in 2014 to promote UHC in the region.
However, Thailand is now facing new challenges such as increasing healthcare costs, different service coverage and purchasing mechanisms among the three health schemes, and the impact of the rapidly aging population on the health systems. Financial sustainability and quality services are therefore of critical importance for the three health schemes.
Under these circumstances, Thailand requested support from the Japanese government whereby groups of Thai officials and personnel participated in JICA-organized trainings in Japan in 2013 an 2014. They learnt from Japan's experiences on how to manage social health insurance and health systems through the medical fee schedule and the roles of both central and local governments in the financial management of the health insurance.
Consequently, it was found imperative for Thailand to 1)improve its UHC operation, 2) cooperate with Japan in helping other developing countries promote their efforts to achieve UHC, 3) promote the strong implementation of UHC at the international level. Thus, the Government of Thailand requested the Government of Japan for a technical cooperation project based on the concept of partnership.
* Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that all people have access to essential health services without suffering financial hardship when paying for them. These include health promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. In December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution making UHC a new global agenda.
The Basic Design for Peace and Health (Global Health Cooperation), formulated by the Government of Japan in September 2015, establishes UHC as one of the policy goals. On December 16, 2015, at the international conference on "Universal Health Coverage in the New Development Era", the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the health issue will be discussed as a priority agenda at the Ise-Shima Summit scheduled in May 2016.
Access to health services and financial risk protection are improved in Thailand and participating countries.
Implementation of UHC in Thailand and participating countries is improved.
*Implementation of UHC refers to activities to strengthen health system components to support UHC.