Prayut hails Thai health system at UN
New York: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha highlighted the achievements of Thailand's universal health coverage at the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 74) in New York on Tuesday (Bangkok time).
Gen Prayut said the government has promoted equality in access to public health services in all areas, including health promotion, disease prevention and treatment of chronic and costly diseases.
"From Oct 1, Thailand will expand health benefits by offering pre-exposure anti-HIV drugs to vulnerable groups. It will further the successful initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for HIV Prevention for Asia Pacific," he said during a high-level meeting on universal health coverage.
The premier said the government is also boosting the efficiency of universal healthcare coverage.
"We have allocated 15% of the national health security fund to health promotion and supporting the establishment of a local health fund," he said.
"Patients, especially vulnerable and marginal groups, should have equal access to healthcare services. Moreover, we will adopt technology for increased efficiency, and also promote public-private partnerships," he added.
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said the session marked the first time in 74 years that the UN has underscored the importance of universal health coverage. The Thai universal health system is ranked sixth best in the world, he said.
"Thailand is among countries which have pushed the agenda. We raised the issue of global health until it gained traction among UN member countries," he told the Bangkok Post after co-chairing a panel on universal health coverage.
In related news, VOA Thai reported that Thaidemocracynow.org billboards reading "United Nations General Assembly: Don't let democracy die in Thailand" had appeared a block away from UN headquarters.