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Health Care System in Thailand

May 21, 2008
Both private and public sectors function within the health care system in Thailand. The government controls health care through a system of capping, which safeguards its interests while delivering a climate for competition. Consequently, the private sector has flourished and given shape to some interesting concepts in health care as it placed its focus on prevention, hospital care alternatives, neighborhood-based ambulatory care and home care.

The reality is that lots of countries around the world could benefit by analyzing health care system in Thailand and the innovations created in it. The health care system in Thailand is spread out in an active economy and a political system in which there is a new government about every 2 years.

The governments see infrastructure projects (e.g., health care) as too great for the budget so they allocate much of health services to the private sector. The private sector handles 50% of hospitals which enjoy US$ 26/year/patient from the government. The government presumes about 100,000 patients for each private hospital.

The government and third party providers are developing a variety of insurance plans. Private providers offer insurance plans according to public insurance plans. They voluntarily act within government-regulated insurance caps. Private providers are contemplating delivering of services to nonpaying patients to surge revenue. Thailand is ahead of its neighbors when it comes to life expectancy and infant mortality (world ranking: male life expectancy 104 vs. 145-210, female life expectancy 123 vs. 148-209; infant mortality 120 vs. 138-210).

There are so many reasons behind choosing health care system in Thailand. The Thai medical profession is possibly one of the most advanced cases in the region. Various governments ruling the country in recent years have invested in making sure the education and training Thai doctors receive is comparable to that provided in other parts of the region. Many doctors opt for specialist training in foreign countries, specifically the United States and Europe and are, at the minimum, equal to or as well qualified as physicians in the west.

A qualified, experienced medical profession will be wasted if you don't provide proper facilities and the right equipments. Fortunately, Thailand is equipped with hospitals and clinics which are world class. There is a great amount of investment in equipments due to their top priority. Management standards are so excellent that hospitals are credited with ISO 9001 approval.

Numerous major hospitals come under management groups that make sure top-class standard of medical service is offered through their branch hospitals at various locations across the country. All this expertise and proficiency point to the fact that health care system in Thailand's hospitals is of high standards and offers safe options for those looking for medical treatment.

As many public facilities are poorer than those of private hospitals, Thailand is working hard to improve accessibility and practice standards. However, good private facilities are open to everyone. The private sector is willing to treat more publicly funded patients than they did in the past - increasing accessibility. Some private hospitals have streamlined their operations by facilitating neighborhood clinics for non-hospital-based day services, mobile clinics, an extramural hospital, and home care services.

In some countries, the private sector is restricted to deinsured services (e.g., in vitro fertilization) and continuing care (e.g., home care and nursing homes). Greater indulgence of the private sector is likely to happen in those countries. These countries did not have an acceptable government policy on the role of the private sector in the delivery of health services.

Thailand has caps to safeguard the government's interest while providing the environment for competition based on service. This is exactly why they are so successful in setting up an affordable health care system in Thailand for people from all levels of the society.
About the Author
Bangkok Hospital - 36 years of advanced medical technology and expertise, complemented with Thai hospitality and compassionate care. Includes the world-renowned Bangkok Heart Hospital and specializing in oncology, neurology and orthopedics. Some of the worlds most advanced minimally invasive diagnostics and treatment procedures are in place.
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