Health harmony: National Health Board unites government and private sector for healthier policies

Photo courtesy of Freepik.

Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew announced the formation of a National Health Board (NHB) to unify various ministries and private sector roles in handling macro-health policies. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin will chair the board, creating a central hub where the government and private sector can join forces to drive health policy in the country.

Cholnan stressed that the NHB will not confine health policy execution solely to the Public Health Ministry. He highlighted that currently, various agencies responsible for health policy implementation are operating out of sync, compromising the quality of healthcare.

The health minister assured that the NHB will not overlap with the work of other agencies such as the National Health Security Office (NHSO) and the National Health Commission. Additionally, Cholnan clarified that the NHB budget will not impact the funds of other agencies as the board’s authority is primarily for health policy implementation and oversight.

“Having said that, the NHB will not diminish the role of the Public Health Ministry. In fact, the board will strengthen it as public health policies stand to benefit from being carried out in an integrated and comprehensive manner. It helps by plugging loopholes.”

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Denying any plans of collecting 30 baht from gold card universal healthcare scheme members for each medical treatment, Cholnan confirmed that the government would continue to enhance the health policy scheme while also bridging the gap between universal health insurance programmes – the gold card scheme, the Social Security Fund, and state officials’ health insurance policy.

On the other hand, Dr Prasit Watanapa, an adviser to Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, urged the government to infuse more funds into the system. He pointed out that the nation is not investing enough in the healthcare sector, considering the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), reported Bangkok Post.

“We need to make sure that we have sufficient funds to cover people’s expenses.”

While agreeing on the need to upgrade the 30-baht universal health insurance scheme, Dr Prasit suggested the government streamline reimbursements of medical bills for civil servants and manage issues such as the misuse of fake IDs to obtain medical services.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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