Co-sponsored by the Asia Health Policy Program and the Southeast Asia Program
Achieving universal health coverage is one of the UN's Social Development Goals. The four countries in the lower Mekong region, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, have made good progress on the expansion of health insurance coverage. However, the statistics on how many people are covered and protected could be misleading, especially for vulnerable populations more likely to be left out. Using data from national surveys, a cross-country analysis shows the situation regarding health service access and health care payments among vulnerable populations in the four countries. Conditions and trends in health care utilization, and health payments and their impact on vulnerable populations will be reviewed and linked to policy implications. Pitfalls and successes in a region marked by diversity and unequal opportunity will also be explored.
Dr. Piya Hanvoravongchai teaches health systems and health economics at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. He is also a co-director of the Equity Initiative in Southeast Asia and a member of the Strategic Technical Advisory Committee of the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.