Assessment of people's views of Thailand's Universal Coverage (UC): A field survey in Thangkwang subdistrict, Khonkaen

Chalermpol Chamchan, Kosuke Mizuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper assesses a variety of views held by the Thai people residing in an area considered "rural" in the Khonkaen province of northeastern Thailand concerning the adoption in 2001 of Universal Coverage (UC) through the 30 Baht Scheme. According to findings from a questionnaire process that included casual interviews, a number of respondents expressed favorable opinions of the concepts underlying the implementation as well as its performance so far. This was especially the case with respect to lower medical expenses, qualitative improvements in health care provision, and attitudes toward the 30 Baht Scheme. Some of those covered by other health schemes, mainly the elderly who obtain their health benefits through the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme (CSMBS), even mentioned a preference to be switched to the 30 Baht Scheme if it were allowed. The fixed co-payment of 30 baht per episode is seen as affordable and fairly reasonable to people across socioeconomic statuses, and therefore need not be revised. For most factors related to satisfaction with the utilisation of medical care, average scores indicate satisfaction. The "co-payment" scored the most satisfactory and "transportation costs" scored the least satisfactory. Now that they are entitled to the right to access better medical care through UC, a larger proportion of people reported that they prefer to visit public health facilities when care is needed rather than private facilities more often compared to the pre-UC period. The rate of care utilisation is also tentatively higher. In this study, an analysis of medical care expenses shows an inequitable burden of the expenses on people across three strata of income groups, which are classified by annual household income per head.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-266
Number of pages17
JournalSoutheast Asian Studies
Volume44
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • Health care
  • People's views
  • Thailand
  • The 30 Baht Scheme
  • Universal Coverage (UC)

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