Challenges of Implementing Universal Health Care in Thailand

  • Viroj Tangcharoensathien
  • Waranya Teokul
  • Lalita Chanwongpaisarn
Part of the Social Policy in a Development Context book series (SPDC)


The landslide victory of the Thai Rak Thai Party on 6 January 2001 was a milestone in the country’s progress towards universal health care for the Thai people. To deliver its campaign promises, the newly elected government guaranteed a policy of ‘30 Baht for Treating Every Illness’, under which all Thais would be eligible for medical services at a flat charge of 30 Baht per visit. Although previous governments had offered full or partial health welfare schemes to various segments of the population, the 30 Baht scheme was a bold initiative in implementing universal coverage (UC) of public health insurance, especially in view of the economic turmoil within which it was implemented. Unlike Japan, Korea and Taiwan, which extended health care coverage in a favourable economic environment, Thailand introduced the UC amid an economic downturn.


Asian Financial Crisis Voluntary Health Insurance Social Security Scheme National Health Account Universal Coverage Scheme 
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© UNRISD 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viroj Tangcharoensathien
  • Waranya Teokul
  • Lalita Chanwongpaisarn

There are no affiliations available

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