A concept on social determinants of health and the Ottawa Charter’s action areas for health promotion have drawn, in many countries, awareness to the health impacts resulting from a public policy. In Thailand, the issue was taken under consideration in the process of the National Health Systems Reform, leading to the development of “the National Health Act”. As instructed by the National Health Act, A.D. 2007, “healthy public policy” is developed through the mechanisms of the National Health Statute, Health Assemblies, Health Impact Assessment, and the National committee, under the National Health Commission, with the National Health Commission Office of Thailand (NHCO) as the secretariat. According to a study conducted by the Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP) and Mahidol University during 2011-2, it is found that such mechanisms have allowed the country to successfully achieve certain objectives, but still facing a number of challenges.
Healthy public policy is defined as a policy that has a concern for health impact and aims to create a supportive environment for the good health of all citizens equally; posting no direct negative health consequences, nor impeding access to basic healthcare services. According to the NHCO’s framework for development of healthy public policy, the process should be a “participatory democracy” characterized by extensive involvement of all stakeholders, and use of intellectual deliberation in order