In 2001, Thailand adopted the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) policy. This policy focuses on primary health care (PHC), with the aim of reforming the Thai health system to provide health services to all, regardless of a person's ability to pay. The community hospital director (CHD) is the middle manager of the provincial health system and the leader of the district health system of Thailand. In recent reforms the emphasis for improving efficiency lies with changes in the provision of primary health services at the community level and this entails understanding the role of the CHD. A qualitative study, utilizing individual interviews and a focus group discussion, was undertaken in order to understand the factors affecting the implementation of rural health care in Thailand. Findings identified several barriers that limit the role of the CHD and a major result of the study was recognition of the dual role of the CHD as both clinician and manager. This study concluded that the goal of the UHC policy in providing equity of access to PHC to all citizens may not be achieved unless the role of CHDs is supported with training in health management and PHC and is supported by the government. � 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||International Journal of Health Planning and Management|
|Early online date||14 Jun 2011|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2011|