US mag: Thailand has world’s sixth-best healthcare system

Thailand’s healthcare system got a bill of good health last week. CEOWORLD, a U.S.-based magazine, rated the quality of the Kingdom’s health services as the sixth-best in the world, surpassing those of many wealthier and more developed countries.

The magazine examined five factors in analyzing and computing its rankings, and Thailand scored extremely high in three: healthcare infrastructure (92.5), cost (96.2), and government readiness (89.9). The Kingdom also achieved respectable scores in remaining two categories: professionals and medicine availability.

The United Nations has long praised Thailand’s public health system as a model of what developing countries can accomplish. The Kingdom has demonstrated its abilities by responding effectively to several epidemics and health emergencies, including the SARS epidemic and the HIV epidemic. Private hospitals in Thailand are also high quality and affordable and have made the country a leading destination for medical tourists.

Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, expressed satisfaction with the magazine’s ranking. He added, however, that the government must not rest on its laurels. Rankings do not matter as much as how well the Ministry performs its duty of maintaining public health, he said.

Asian and European nations dominated the top 10 on CEOWORLD’s list. Taiwan finished first, followed by South Korea in second place, and Japan in third. Austria came in fourth place, followed by Denmark in fifth, Spain was seventh, France was ranked eighth and Belgium ninth. Australia rounded out the top 10.

CEOWORLD said its Healthcare Index is “a statistical analysis of the overall quality of the health care system, including health care infrastructure; health care professionals; competencies; cost; quality medicine availability, and government readiness. It also takes into consideration other factors including, environmental, access to clean water, sanitation, government readiness on imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use, and obesity.”

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