Disease prioritization for inclusion into Thailand’s population-based screening benefit package
Sitaporn Youngkong*, Patsri Srisuwan†, Tanunya Koopitakkajorn*, Pritaporn Kingkaew*,
Lily Ingsrisawang‡, Det Kedcham§, Sripen Tantivess*, Kanitta Bundhamcharoen#, Yot Teerawattananon*
*Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program, Ministry of Public Health, †Outpatient and Family
Medicine Department, Phramongkutklao Hospital, ‡Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University,
§ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Mahidol University, #International Health Policy Program (IHPP),
Ministry of Public Health
Population-based screening is a large-scale process of identifying apparently healthy people for disease
risks. Some health screening programs in Thailand have been introduced without scientific evidence.
This paper details the experience gained from a systematic and participatory prioritization of health problems
to be screened in Thailand. A consultation meeting with three rounds of anonymous votes was conducted.
Participants included technical officers in the Ministry of Public Health, medical practitioners,
representatives of non-governmental organizations and lay people. We identified the primary list of 31
health problems for their contributions to disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in Thailand. A set of
information depicting the burden of diseases and availability of screening techniques were provided to
participants prior to the meeting. The prioritization process was conducted with a modified Delphi technique.
The final list of high-priority health problems was determined by researchers using inputs from
round three and overall aspects: ischemic heart disease and stroke, diabetes, alcohol dependence, cirrhosis
and liver cancer, anemia, cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS, asthma, tuberculosis, nephritis and nephrosis,
breast cancer and traffic accidents. They will be investigated further on the appropriate screening program.