On 16 January 2023 at the Thailand Parliament, the coalition of 9 civil society organizations submitted a letter to the Prime Minister via the Secretariat of the Prime Minister calling for PrEP services to be distributed at the community clinics.
Community-based clinics provide crucial HIV services in order to end AIDS in Thailand by 2023, particularly to key populations. The community is appealing to the Committee on Public Health for the impacted population who no longer have access to PrEP and HIV prevention since the announcement of the National Health Security Office statement and the Department of Health Service Support’s service guideline on PrEP distribution by civil society organizations.
Case 1: National Health Security Office (NHSO) announcement regarding the Guideline for Operation and Management of the National Health Security Office in the fiscal year 2023.
Dated 28 December 2022
The budget in Section 2 “Prevention of HIV infection” under Section 3 “Services for HIV and AIDS patients” covers only NHSO-eligible persons, and has a retrospective effect from 1 October 2022.
The Minister should sign to allow for people not covered by the universal health coverage to continue to receive services and to get disbursed while waiting for legal interpretation.
Case 2: There is the clarification letter of the guidelines for providing PrEP services in hospitals according to the law on hospitals from the Department of Health Service Support, no. Sor Tor 0702.04.3/3033.
Dated 23 December 2022.
The provision of PrEP services by civil society organisations must be operated in collaboration with government hospitals and there must be a doctor and pharmacist from a government hospital to prescribe the drug which could also be done in the form of Telemedicine.
It remains unclear whether a CSO that co-provides the service with a government hospital could stock PrEP at the clinic for dispensing on the day of the service.
NHSO together with the Department of Disease Control and Department of Health Service Support must issue new guidelines in the same format as Hat Yai Hospital so as to clearly clarify to those who may have doubts that:
- The civil society organization clinic is part of the public health service unit of Thailand.
- PrEP dispensation and prescription can be done by doctors and pharmacists from the government, private and civil society sectors.
- PrEP stock is possible with quality control standards.
On January 18, 2023, civil society organizations will meet with the Director-General of the Department of Disease Control to discuss the impact of the NHSO budget announcement 2023 and guidelines for PrEP services by civil society organizations of the Department of Health Service Support.