In Thailand, a universal healthcare coverage scheme can be referred to as the ‘30-baht scheme’ (1 USD = 35-40 baht). During the election campaign, the party indicated that the scheme would provide health care for everyone. After acquiring the majority vote, the government put forward the scheme quickly. The 30-Baht Scheme covers everyone who is not covered by other government-sponsored forms of insurance; the Civil Servant (and public enterprise workers’) Medical Benefit Schemes (CSMBS) and the Social Security Scheme (SSS). The 30-Baht Scheme was intended to remove financial burdens connected with health care, in that illness can be unanticipated and the cost concerned might be unpredictable.
most people feel more secure with this scheme in place, as they now have insurance against a drastic or catastrophic illness that they could suffer in the future.
In my perspective, four main challenges are described as follows:
1. Unsustainability of revenue-raising method: the hospital operating cost from the government budget has been decreasing steadily.
2. High administrative cost and loss of negotiating power
3. Intractable and rapidly rising healthcare cost
4. Health-seeking behaviors
It can be observed that patients have flooded into their hospitals after the introduction of the 30-Baht Scheme. Some health-care providers observed that several people seek health services earlier than they had in the past. According to them, some people seek services for health concerns that could easily have been taken care of by themselves, especially during nighttime or on the weekend when most public hospitals would be understaffed with doctors.
Moreover, the inadequacies of hospitals and health personnel, especially doctors in small public hospitals, remain the problems.