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Sukanya Chongthawonsatid 1 Article
Identification of Unmet Healthcare Needs: A National Survey in Thailand
Sukanya Chongthawonsatid
J Prev Med Public Health. 2021;54(2):129-136.   Published online March 4, 2021
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
This study examined demographic factors hampering access to healthcare at hospitals and suggests policy approaches to improve healthcare management in Thailand.
The data for the study were drawn from a health and welfare survey conducted by the National Statistical Office of Thailand in 2017. The population-based health and welfare survey was systematically carried out by skilled interviewers, who polled 21 519 384 individuals. The independent variables related to demographic data (age, sex, religion, marital status, education, occupation, and area of residence), chronic diseases, and health insurance coverage. The dependent variable was the degree of access to healthcare. Multiple logistic regression analysis was subsequently performed on the variables found to be significant in the univariate analysis.
Only 2.5% of the population did not visit a hospital when necessary for outpatient-department treatment, hospitalization, or the provision of oral care. The primary reasons people gave for not availing themselves of the services offered by government hospitals when they were ill were—in descending order of frequency—insufficient time to seek care, long hospital queues, travel inconvenience, a lack of hospital beds, unavailability of a dentist, not having someone to accompany them, and being unable to pay for the transportation costs. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that failure to access the health services provided at hospitals was associated with demographic, educational, occupational, health welfare, and geographic factors.
Accessibility depends not only on health and welfare benefit coverage, but also on socioeconomic factors and the degree of convenience associated with visiting a hospital.


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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health