NHCO and MoPH convened a consultative meeting to scale up the level of social participation of Thailand
On 18th May 2023, the National Health Commission Office (NHCO) and the Ministry of Public Health convened the consultative meeting on social participation, aiming to build understanding of the concept of social participation in accordance with WHO publication on voice, agency, empowerment: handbook on social participation for universal health coverage. The result of the consultation will be inputs to share at the World Health Assembly’s side event and to Global Consultation on Social Participation.
Figure 1 Panelists and Participants at the National Consultation on Social Participation.
Thailand plans to put forward the social participation agenda as it is a strength of Thai health systems to be a resolution at the World Health Assembly in 2024. Therefore, the organizers consulted over 50 participants from multi-stakeholders and different sectors on a strength and weakness of social participation in Thailand. Key questions of the consultation placed to a monitoring, evaluation and reporting system and enabling factors for sustainable social participation.
Figure 2 Dr. Prateep Dhanakijchareon, Secretary-General of the National Health Commission.
Dr. Prateep Dhanakijchareon, Secretary-General of the National Health Commission, revealed that Thailand has invested in social participation for decades. As a result, we witness civil societies as the board members of the National Health Security Office and that of the National Health Commissions. At the community level, health volunteers have a strong role in many aspects in community development, especially managing primary health care in their community.
“Today we draw lessons from our persistent practices on social participation. We will bring all comments, feedbacks and suggestions to escalate the level of collaboration between the government and people from implementation to decision-making. Thailand has several best practices at a policy level as well as an implementation level. These best practices and our lessons will be beneficial to global community at the World Health Assembly.” said Dr. Dhanakijchareon.
Figure 3 Dr. Komain Tewtong, Deputy Director of Primary Care Support Bureau, the Ministry of Public Health.
Dr. Komain Tewtong, Deputy Director of Primary Care Support Bureau, the Ministry of Public Health, reiterated that health care services cannot be effective without social participation. According to the Primary Care System Act, 2019, its emphasis lies into engagement of people in health services, disease control and health risk factors reduction.
Figure 4 Mr. Songklod Swangwong, Vice Governor of Petchaboon Province.
Vice Governor of Petchaboon Province, Mr. Songklod Swangwong, disclosed that people can actually engage with government agencies in proposing a project and budget through a channel of province. Furthermore, the Ministry of Public Health has currently transferred public health missions, especially management of sub-district health promotion hospitals or so called health centres in the past, to Provincial Administrative Organisations (PAO). People will benefit from health care decentralization. They easily engage in managing their health care services.