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Soungmen’s health statute: Learning and Inspiring Source for Local Health Statute

The network of Sub-district Administrative Organization from across the country joined in the Walk Rally at Soungmen sub-district, Phrae province, in order to learn about the health statue formulation process and set direction for improvement of local people’s health.

Soungmen’s health statute, the first health statute of Thailand at the sub-district level, has been officially in effect since 5 December, 2009. Drawn from the actual needs and cooperation of Soungmen people, this statute was created in cooperation between the district office and the hospital. Its concept is based on the National Health Act, B.E. 2550 flagging sufficiency economy as the major key in creation of well-being.      
Soungmen sub-district has become a learning centre on health statute formulation process. During 9-10 September, 2010, the network of Sub-district Administrative Organization from many provinces such as Lopburi; UdonThani; Loei; Lopburi; Trang; Sakaew; Nakornnayok; Nong Phayao; Chiang Mai; Petchaboon and Chiang Rai joined the walk rally set as the learning programme for other organizations which are interested in applying the health statute model in their areas.

The network walked through 4 stations to learn the key process of developing the health statute namely
1) Background, mechanism and coordinating techniques; 2) Drafting process; 3) Public hearing and communication and 4) Mobilization. Each station descries the success factors, that briefly are the open up of spaces, open-minded discussion, work with wisdom. This factors lead to power of brainstorming that can help us understand real needs, as well as cooperative actions where everybody shares ownership over problems and seeks for solutions. It is so called participatory democratic processes.”   

Mr. Chanai Gontong, from Petchaboon province, shared what he learned from the walk rally that health issue involves everybody in the community. We all have to be aware of our health and assemble to do it for the community’s health. He intends to create his sub-district as the land of happiness for all citizens and visitors. 
“This sharing and learning activity is really helpful and it inspire those who work in public health office” said Ms. Jurirat Sanon, a health officer from Lopburi province, who is getting worn down with burdens. She finds a clear direction in improving health of the people in her responsible area. She realizes that health situation in Soungmen is similar to her area. Therefore, she will go back to bring together all sectors to work in the health statute in the context of her area and create a more effective systematic network.     
Soungmen’s Health Statute is not only fruitful in terms of a clear direction for the health of its people, but also a source of inspiration for other sub-districts.