Dr Amphon Jindawatthana, secretary-general of the National Health Commission, said the commission agreed in principle to have criteria and methods for the health impact assessment (HIA) of public policies adjusted at least once a year to catch up with changing situations and social contexts.
A detailed regulation for the HIA review will be finished and there must be public hearings to gather opinions and recommendations on the regulation from concerned parties and general people. The public hearings will maximize public participation and the process should take six months.
Dr Amphon said HIA was a major tool to assess impacts on health in accordance with the National Health Act of 2007. It is also a tool to enable communities to protect their areas, lifestyles and well-being. HIA is applied on four conditions, that are when a project or activity may have severe impacts on the environment, natural resources and health in relation to Section 67 of the Constitution; when there is a development-related policy or activity; when a person or a group of people exercises rights under Section 11 of the National Health Act to demand HIA; and when HIA is intended to educate society.
Source: Khao Sod’s July 26, 2012 edition
Picture source : National Health Commission Office