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The Blossoming of the National Health-System Statute

 The Blossoming of the National Health-System Statute

1 March 2010

The Statute on the National Health System, comprising 111 provisions, became  effective in December 2009. It’s function will be to define the direction  in which the Nation’s health- system will develop. It is intended  that all sectors  of society have equal access to it and be able to administer its provisions in all relevant areas of concern.

Recently, in the District of Suong-Men, Province of Phrae, a health statute was passed and declared officially to be in effect.  The Suong-Men Health Statute contains 39 sections and was formulated with the full participation of all district-level parties, including those from the  local government and the civil society organizations. Serving as chairman of the Statute-development process was Mr. Sanit Khemwatthana, Chief Officer of the District of  Suong-Men. Dr. Sang-Chai Phong-Phit, Director of the Suhng-Men Hospital, coordinated the effort in conjuction with  the Suhng-Men Public Health Director, Mr. Rian Khian-Pho,  applying the spirit of the Statute toward the concept of a national health-care system.

The District Statute is responsive to the social context and the needs of the people. The National Statute itself is applied only as a framework for the health and welfare of Suhng-Men,  while its actual content is  being developed both by and for  the people of the District.  Its  natural-like emergence constitutes  the beauty of its success. 

On 27th March 2010, the Hospital of Thai Traditional Medicine organized an inaugural ceremony in Sakon Nakhon Province. It is the first such Thai traditional medical facility to have been created solely through the spontaneous initiatives of the three cornerstones of society – namely, the academic,  local government and civil socieity.  This working principle follows the strategy  of  a “triangle that moves the  mountain”.

The opening of the hospital is in accordance with  –Section7,Provisions  60 and 64 of the Statute, which state that “a medical facility based on Thai tradition medicine shall be erected and shall serve as a standard model for the rendering of service, research and training of personnel in maters of health , at a minimum of one such hospital to each region.”

The establishment of the Hospital of Thai Traditional Meidicine at Sakon-Nakhon resulted from the collaborative efforts of academics at the Rajamankala University of Technology Isan at the Sakon-Nakhon campus. It began its instruction in Thai traditional medicine first, then coordinated its work with the compassionate and respectful monk, Faep Suphatthoh. It was further  bolstered by support from Provincial Administration Organization and  from the people of Sakhon Nakhon Province and other provinces. Its establishment does not result from a top-down policy from the central government, but rises from the Statue on the National Health System that serves as a framework.. 

Its creation should be regarded as a purely natural phenomenon, born of the inherent beauty of its Nation’s people, faith and institutions.
The small Thai traditional medical facility, which is soon to open, marks a very prestigious moment in the practice of traditional Thai medicine, which has been neglected and ignored over a long span of time. It is thus yet another particularly important turning point in the health care system of Thailand.      

A certain amount of time, however, will be required before construction is complete  and the hospital is finally able to open and go into full operation. The reason for this delay is that  all of the primary funding come from a mobilized cooperative effort of the people and supportive organizations. The hospital receives no funding  from the Government. Yet, even with a limited seeding budget, it is expected that, ultimately, the work will be complete in a noticeably short time because of the dedicated sense of commitment and collaborative spirit of the involved parties. These still hold out the hope that the Government will act through those agencies that, by their nature,  have a related role to play. Among them are the Ministry of Public Health, the National Health Security Office and the Ministry of Education, who  will hopefully lend their firm and continued support to the construction and future operation of the facility

In the meantime, everyone can become engaged in the completion of the hospital by making a donation directly to the Hospital of Thai Traditional Medicine  at Sakon-Nakhon, Luang-Pufaep, Suphatthoh. Donations can be wire-trasferred to account # 636-031376-8 at the Bank of Bangkok, Ban-Muang Branch,  bank swift code BKKBTHBK.

Following through the Statute on the National Health System, the National Health Commission set up the Committee on the Development of Local Health Wisdom, chaired by Dr. Vichai Chokewiwat. The function of the committee is to offer advice, supervision and close support in this  endeavor. The Committee has formed three sub-committees to facilitate supervision and support in the development of all relevant aspects of the project. These consist of 1) the Sub-Committee on the System and Model Development of a Pilot Hospital for the Thai Traditional Medical Practice ; 2) the Sub-Committee on the Development of the  Thai Traditional Medicine System; and 3) the Sub-Committee on the Development of Herbal and Traditional Medicines.

The blossoming of a tree is soon followed by its fructification. The fruit it yields, it is hoped, will enhance the health and wellbeing of the Thai citizen and of the society of Thailand – who have patiently awaited its full formation. Secretary General of National Health Commission


Amphon Jindawatthana

Secretary General

National Health Commission