UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday lauded Thailand's healthcare system for providing security to the poor and underprivileged and medical attention to the public even in the face of a major disaster.
Thailand is a good model for other countries, he said on a layover during a worldwide campaign to prevent premature deaths of women and children.
He also was scheduled to visit flooded areas.
The country has a good health-security system for all people, which is run by the government and emphasises protection for the poor and underprivileged, especially by helping them avoid bankruptcy through unpaid medical bills accrued in treating a serious disease, he said.
The financial-management system for the health-security net is also open-ended and flexible, so it is efficient and secured. Other countries should learn from Thailand to develop similar healthcare systems for their people, the United Nations chief said.
Despite the massive flooding, people are well taken care of in terms of health, and the government has declared its intention to protect people during the current crisis by implementing the universal healthcare scheme, which has proved successful, Ban said.
Besides its important role in alleviating health impacts from the floods, the system to handle specific illnesses such as Aids, chronic kidney failure and other costly diseases and to ensure patients have access to necessary medicine makes people feel confident in their healthcare even amid a national crisis, he noted.
Thailand also cooperates with the private sector, including non-governmental organisations and the Private Hospital Association, to take care of people’s health. This is admirable and deserved much praise, Ban said.
He added that in his campaign to promote women’s and children’s health, he would introduce the concept of the Thai healthcare system to other countries as a good example.
The latest study by the World Health Organisation found that a welfare system that covered all health issues of people was essential, especially when a country was facing a recession or an international disease outbreak, while the world’s elderly populations needed care for chronic diseases.
The study said many countries could not meet the health goals they had ratified and many lacked sufficient healthcare for their people, while European nations, Japan, Chile, Mexico, Rwanda and Thailand were the countries that had been successful in providing universal healthcare to their people.