Thailand meeting SDG on universal healthcare

Thailand has essentially met the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and is introducing measure to achieve the target of a one-third reduction in incidence of non-communicable diseases by 2030, the Prime Minister said last week.

The Kingdom “has succeeded in expanding access to health services under the UHC scheme to 99.6 percent of the population since 2021, which is the highest coverage in Southeast Asia according to the World Health Organization (WHO), said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Winning the battle against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), however, is a tougher challenge, the Prime Minister added. The SDGs call for a one-third reduction in NCDs by 2030. Prayut vowed that Thailand would implement measures to attain that goal.

Prayut said that the prevention and treatment of NCDs should be integrated into the public health emergency plan for better preparation and responsiveness to future public health crises. He made the comments in a televised speech to the The International Strategic Dialogue Meeting on NCDs and SDGs in Ghana.

A comprehensive and inclusive universal health system also contributes to better management of health services including NCDs, Prayut added. He said that Thailand is willing to share its experiences and enhance collaboration with other countries on this issue.

The United Nations and the WHO have praised Thailand’s public health system as a model for what middle-income and developing nations can achieve.

The Kingdom launched its universal health care coverage about 20 years ago. With frequent monitoring and evaluation, the goal is to reach 100 percent coverage, and Thailand is closing in on that target.

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