Ethnic groups and LGBT community among those needing greater awareness of rights, says NHSO
The National Health Security Office (NHSO) aims to improve awareness among ethnic minorities and LGBTQIA+ people about their healthcare rights and access to services under its universal healthcare scheme.
One way to achieve this goal of it is to reach out to ethnic minorities and LGBTQIA+ people through groups working to protect their rights and representing them, said Yupadee Sirisinsuk, deputy NHSO secretary-general.
She was speaking at a recent workshop organised for these groups.
Ms Yupadee said the workshop was just the beginning of the NHSO’s efforts to reach out. More forums will be held across the country.
The next step is to turn those who have been trained at these workshops into coordinators in the NHSO’s bid to improve awareness about healthcare rights and access to healthcare services under the scheme, she said.
These coordinators will also give feedback on the needs of these groups, according to Ms Yupadee.
Sumali Tokthong, a coordinator of a transgender health group calling itself Kham Phet Mi Suk (“Happy Transgender People”), said transgender groups had not taken part as much as they should in the NHSO’s civic health network. She welcomed the office’s bid to reach out.
“An important matter for many transgender people is gender reassignment, a medical procedure which still is treated more or less as plastic surgery [which isn’t covered under the scheme],” she said.
Chaiyut Wai-noetlue, a representative of an ethnic minority group called Kaloeng in the northeastern province of Sakon Nakhon, said two key obstacles barring the ethnic people from learning more about their healthcare and gaining proper access to services are they are not registered properly as Thai citizens, and the language barrier.