Guest Editorial

Health financing lessons from Thailand for South Africa on the path towards universal health coverage

Mark Blecher, Anban Pillay, Walaiporn Patcharanarumol, Warisa Panichkriangkrai, Viroj Tangcharoensathien, Yot Teerawattananon, Supasit Pannarunothai, Jonatan Davén


Five years after the release of its Green Paper on National Health Insurance (NHI),years after the institution of NHI pilot sites and following the recent release of the White Pa 4 per on NHI, South Africa (SA) needs to move beyond the phase 1 plans of policy making and healthening activities to phase 2 – putting into place the legal and institutional frameth system strengworks and systems for implementation of its universal health coverage (UHC) system. In doing so, SA can draw on considerable practical lessons from other countries’ reforms in managing UHC with favourable equity outcomes over the past decade. We outline some potentially significant lessons from the Thai health financing system for SA.

Authors' affiliations

Mark Blecher, National Treasury, South Africa

Anban Pillay, National Department of Health, South Africa

Walaiporn Patcharanarumol, International Health Policy Program, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Warisa Panichkriangkrai, International Health Policy Program, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Viroj Tangcharoensathien, International Health Policy Program, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Yot Teerawattananon, Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

Supasit Pannarunothai, Centre for Health Equity Monitoring Foundation, Thailand

Jonatan Davén, National Treasury, South Africa

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Universal health coverage; National health insurance; Health financing; Health systems reforms, Thailand

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(6):533-534. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i6.10953

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-04-25
Date published: 2016-05-10

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