“Although it is not among the world’s richest economies, Thailand succeeded in introducing an affordable system that has had a dramatic impact on the health of its people.
Sweeping reforms in which healthcare is funded through taxation have turned the country into a poster child for universal healthcare systems in emerging markets.
Child mortality rates have been cut, while treatments such as antiretroviral therapies and renal replacement therapy have saved adult lives. Meanwhile, there has been a significant drop in “catastrophic health spending”, out-of-pocket payments (payments to healthcare providers at the time of use), and medical impoverishment.”
“Caring for a nation
Before the introduction of Thailand’s Universal Coverage Scheme in 2001, the insurance programmes in place had provided patchy and often unaffordable coverage. As a result, around a quarter of people in the country were uninsured.”
I lived in Thailand for eight years and my wife is Thai. The “30 Baht Health Care” plan was so popular that the politician who started it (Thaksin Shiniwatra) became popular enough that the royals felt threatened. There’s a lot more to the story, and he was corrupt, as are pretty much all politicians there, but he had the novel idea of actually doing something for the voters. He was removed in a coup in September, 2006. Although the PTB have done everything possible to stamp out any populist movement since then, they know better than to abandon 30 baht health care. BTW, 30 baht is about one dollar.
So Thailand is managing universal health care. Thailand! And people are telling us the USA can’t do this? Seriously? Is our government even more corrupt than Thailands?