Q&A about NHA
FAQ about Thailand's National Health Assembly
1. The Purpose of the National Health Assembly
What is the goal of the National Health Assembly?
The goal of the NHA is to use an evidence based participatory public policy process to create public policy to improve the health of Thai people.
Is the National Health Assembly the only method Thailand uses to generate public health policy?
In Thailand's social political system there are many ways that you can formulate public policy. Under the constitution of 2007, 10,000 Thai citizens can sign their names to submit a bill to the parliament and the parliament has to consider that bill.
Alternatively academics can work with bureaucrat in a ministry and propose something to the minister, or to the cabinet. The NHA is another channel, one which requires the involvement of all sectors, the government sector, civil society, academia and the private sector.
What advantages does this have over other methods of devising public policy?
The strength of the NHA is that the evidence is put on the table and all parties learn. This learning creates new capacity; it is a kind of participatory democracy. It is not just about voting to select your representative and then going home, but about having a direct involvement in the policy process.
2. Principles of the National Health Assembly