The Southeast Asia Regional Collaborative for Health (SEARCH) is a regional learning network focusing on strategic purchasing for universal health coverage (UHC) in Southeast Asia. The network is housed at Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore.
On 1st June 2023, the event on the successes of strategic purchasing for UHC in Thailand was co-organized by SEARCH and Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University at Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. Panelists include academics, policy makers, and NGOs.
The event aims at facilitating experience exchange and knowledge sharing between Thailand and countries in Southeast Asia (e.g., Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia), focusing on strategic purchasing under UHC in Thailand.
Following the panel discussion, Thailand has gradually developed social health protection schemes to cover all Thai population which required more budget to fund the system.
With budget limitation, payment mechanisms are developed in a way which promotes strategic purchasing to contain costs while increasing efficiency and service quality. Currently, Thailand uses capitation for outpatient, diagnosis-related group with global budget for inpatient, and fee-for-service for prevention and promotion.
In addition, the National Health Security Office (NHSO), which manages the Universal Coverage Scheme, continues to collect and analyze the claim data and improve the database. This allows NHSO to monitor cost and reimbursement to healthcare providers as well as to improve the payment mechanism.
This event fosters collaboration and knowledge exchange on strategic purchasing to achieve UHC among countries in Southeast Asia.