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Access to Treatments for All

Access to Treatments for All
National Health Insurance Campaign - Health Insurance for All

ACCESS, along with Thai Network of PLWHAs (TNP+) and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), actively advocated with the community and Government for the adoption of ‘Health Insurance for All'. The aim of the advocacy campaign was to ensure that everybody, including PLWHA's and their families receive good services and are ensured quality of life. ACCESS acted as a core body (along with 11 networks of people) to collect 50,000 signatures in support of the campaign, which were put to the parliament. The legislation was proposed and has been implemented under the Thirty Baht scheme, as of 2001.

Under this scheme, previously uninsured people and those from lower income groups can buy a gold card that entitles them to medical care and treatment for 30 baht. The scheme originally covered most care; however it excluded antiretroviral drugs and numerous other expensive on-going treatments.

On November 30, 2001, 1200 PLWHAs from all parts of the country demonstrated in front of parliament and met with Sudarat Kayurapandh, the then Minister of Public Health. She agreed in principle to the PLWHA demands and committed the government to include ARV into the 30-baht health scheme. The working committee, which consisted of representatives from TNP+, NGO/AIDS and the government was set up to prepare for implementation of this scheme. At that time, there were only 3,000 PLWHAs receiving ARV. The government's approval of a budget of 50 million baht made it possible for more people to gain access to ARV.

In 2004, the MOPH announced the possibility of providing ARV to 50,000 PLWHAs.

Due to continued pressure and advocacy by TNP+ and its supporters, the National Health Security Office (NHSO) finally announced that it would include ARV in the National Health Security's benefit package. This came into effect as of October 1, 2005 .

Overall, whilst the 30 baht scheme has been successful in part, it has been critisised by many for its lack of equality in the entitlement for a gold card (for example, in order to obtain a card applicants must possess official documents and housing certificates, thus excluding some of Thailand's poorest from obtaining a card), and in the lack of quality service provided through hospitals due to delays in government subsidy payments to hospitals and a resultant lack of quality care (Towse, H, 2003, University of London ). While the rich can afford quality private care, the poor are grappling with under-performing public services.


Further reading:

A 4 year fight for “ARV, Rights and Benefit Package on Health Security

Global Snapshots - Thailand : the 30 baht health plan

Learning from Thailand 's health reforms - http://rspas.anu.edu.au/rmap/newmandala/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/learning-from-thailands-health-reforms.pdf 

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The Comprehensive Continuum of Care (CCC) Centres
The changing of the PHAs role: from a “ Service Receiver ” to a “Co-Provider ” (By TNP+)

Drug Patents Campaign

Compulsory License- The Thai experience (By TNP+)

The Drug Patent fight: the ddI case (By TNP+)

Summary of the suite to revoke the ddI patent