Strategic purchasing for Universal Health Coverage: Universal Coverage Scheme and Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme in Thailand

April 2016
Walaiporn Patcharanarumol, Viroj Tangcharoensathien, Warisa Panichkraingkrai, Angkana Sommanuttaweechai, Yaowaluk Wanwong

This research brief compares strategic purchasing of two tax-financed non-contributory schemes in Thailand: the Universal Coverage Scheme (UCS), managed by National Health Security Office (NHSO), and the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme (CSMBS), managed by these Comptroller General Department (CGD) of the Ministry of Finance. It examines the NHSO and the CGD as purchasers, and how they interact with three key groups: health service providers, the national government and their members.

The brief compares actual purchasing practices with ideal strategic purchasing actions to identify design and implementation gaps and the factors that influence effective purchasing. Finally, it sets out features of the UCS that may be considered a pre-requisite for any country that seeks to use strategic purchasing as a tool to achieve universal health coverage. 

The RESYST Consortium, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, has critically examined how health care purchasing functions in ten low and middle-income countries to identify factors that influence the ability of health care purchasers and other key actors to take strategic actions.

Financing Strategic purchasing Thailand Universal Health Coverage (UHC)