Entire population healthcare in 10 yearsWEF Facebook, 21.02.20
Before the introduction of Thailand’s Universal Coverage Scheme in 2001, the insurance programmes in place had provided patchy and often unaffordable coverage. As a result, around a quarter of people in the country were uninsured.
The UCS provides coverage to three quarters of the population (approximately 47 million people) and accounts for 17% of the country’s healthcare expenditure. Funded through taxes, it places the biggest cost burden on those that are most able to afford it. Consequently, the biggest beneficiaries of the scheme have been those with the lowest income, in particular women of child-bearing age.
In the decade since the UCS was introduced, the correlation between poverty and infant mortality disappeared. Alongside this, there was a more or less immediate improvement in the number of people that were prevented from going to work through illness, particularly at the older end of the workforce. By 2011, 98% of the population had access to healthcare.