Healthcare at border to get boost
Thailand and Cambodia plan to set up a joint emergency service in border areas as part of joint efforts to improve healthcare at the border.
- Published: 23/07/2013 at 12:00 AM
- Newspaper section: news
The plan aims to control the number of Cambodian patients seeking treatment across the border while Thailand will share information and expertise with Cambodian border hospitals to help them better manage their own public health system.
The collaboration was launched after bilateral talks in March headed by the Joint Committee on Border Area Development and Connectivity between Thailand and Cambodia.
The meeting agreed Thailand would support the Cambodian government in its attempt to improve its hospitals in Banteay Meanchey, Sisophone and Koh Kong province to encourage Cambodians to seek treatment locally instead of crossing into Thailand for their healthcare needs.
The agreement also aims to ease the financial strain on Thai hospitals near the border.
According to Public Health Ministry records, seven border hospitals opposite Cambodia spend about 50 million baht in total each year to provide free healthcare to Cambodian patients, for which they are seldom reimbursed.
Public Health Ministry Pradit Sintawanarong told the Bangkok Post yesterday that Thailand and Cambodia had agreed to provide joint emergency care at hospitals near the border.
It is a short-term solution to help Cambodia improve its health system, he said.
The plan would allow Cambodia to learn healthcare management expertise while being supported by Thailand.
As for a long-term solution, Dr Pradit said Thailand wanted neighbouring countries to become capable of operating their own universal healthcare systems.
This would help disease control and prevention as labour becomes increasingly mobile in the region, he said.
"Cambodia has shown a strong interest in improving its public healthcare system," Dr Pradit said.
Cambodia plans to allocate a budget of about US$30 (930 baht) per head per year for its planned universal healthcare coverage, according to information from the bilateral meeting.
The countries are expected to have further discussions about improving Cambodia's healthcare system after Cambodia's general election is held on Monday.
About the author
- Writer: Paritta Wangkiat
- Position: Reporter