The role of health insurance in improving health services use by Thais and ethnic minority migrants

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2010 Jan;22(1):42-50. doi: 10.1177/1010539509351183.


In Thailand, a universal coverage health care scheme for Thai citizens and a foreign worker health insurance program for registered foreign workers have been implemented since 2001. This study uses the 2000-2004 panel data of the Kanchanaburi Demographic Surveillance System to explore the role of health insurance in influencing the use of health care for Thai, Thai ethnic minority, and ethnic minority migrants from 2000 to 2004. The results show that health insurance plays a major role in improving the use of health care for ethnic groups, especially for Thai ethnic minorities. However, a gap still existed in 2004 between health insurance and health care use by ethnic minority migrants and by Thais. The results suggest that improving health insurance status for ethnic minority migrants should be encouraged to reduce the ethnic gap in the use of health care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Religion
  • Thailand
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Universal Health Insurance