The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Thailand’s National Health Security Office (NHSO) have expanded their collaboration on universal health coverage (UHC) and global health.
This cooperation is a part of the Partnership Project for Global Health and Universal Health Coverage Phase 2, aiming to strengthen health financing, the health workforce and the global health of Thailand and Japan as well as other countries.
Under this partnership, the JICA, NHSO and the Public Health Ministry will work together to achieve three goals:
1. Share experience on UHC between Thailand and Japan to improve health coverage in both countries;
2. Organise capacity development for UHC implementation and global health in other countries;
3. Share and promote practices and lessons learned in UHC implementation and global health, mainly from Japan and Thailand, at the national, regional and international levels.
From today until 2023, the partnership will deliver a series of capacity-building workshops, lectures, policy recommendations and study visits to Japan to learn about that country’s successful UHC system. In addition, Thailand and Japan will share lessons learned and good practices of UHC implementation with other countries, for instance, Asian and African countries which are striving for UHC, at international conferences such as the Prince Mahidol Award Conference. This is also a good opportunity to form a network for further international collaboration.
The presence of Thailand and Japan in the global health arena was enhanced as both countries collaborated at a high-level meeting on UHC, drafting a political declaration, and south-south technical collaboration in essential areas of health coverage.
The Partnership Project for Global Health and Universal Health Coverage was launched four years ago and had achieved fruitful outcomes. Through a wide range of activities, Thai organisations and health officials have improved capacity on many aspects of UHC implementation, for example, healthcare finance, health information system, health workforce and UHC for children and mothers.
Japan achieved UHC by expanding the public insurance to farmers in 1961, and Thailand achieved UHC in 2002 by launching its Universal Coverage Scheme.
Both countries have gained a remarkable health outcome and faced similar challenges, including the increase of healthcare costs and rapid aging.