Traditional and complementary medicines (T&CM) have increased in uptake and economic importance globally. T&CM involves the examination, diagnosis, therapy, treatment, disease prevention, and rehabilitation. The World Health Organization's (WHO) Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 outlines a framework for action through the regulation, research and integration of the products, practices, and practitioners into the health system (1).
T&CM has a long history of use in South-East Asia and in Thailand, the Ministry of Public Health has promoted the use of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicines (TTM), integrating services as part of national health system. The Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (DTAM) is the main national authority body that manages and ensures the quality standard of the TTM services in Thailand, which are available across the 77 provinces in Thailand at various levels of care (2). In 2013, DTAM, in collaboration with the Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Chantaburi province, National Health Security Office (NHSO) and the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Center, Ministry of Public Health, introduced a service reporting application called ‘HDC TTM Service’. This integrated the provincial level data using the existing 52-standard folder system for the monitoring and evaluation for TTM services. Since then, a Real-Time Monitoring System (RTMS) has been developed to report and manage the information system of the TTM services in all healthcare facilities across the country in real time3
. RTMS is being used to track service use across health regions, budget allocation and planning by the Ministry of Public Health in conjunction with the public health insurance schemes and there is potential for using it more strategically in the coming years (3).
The implementation of RTMS over the past years offers a useful case study for other countries in the region to develop a TTM information system and utilize it to promote access to Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In this regard, the WHO South- East Asia Regional Office (WHO SEARO), in collaboration with DTAM and the Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, seek to review the implementation of RMTS of TTM in Thailand and offer lessons for other countries in the Southeast Asian region.
- World Health Organization. WHO traditional medicine strategy: 2014-2023 [Internet]. World Health Organization. 2013 May [cited 2022 Apr 18]. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241506096
- Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine. Thai Public Health Report 2017-2023 [Internet]. Technical and Knowledge bank Working Group. 2022 [cited 2022 Apr 18]. Available from: https://tpd.dtam.moph.go.th/index.php/news-ak/pr-ak/689-2560-2563
- Presentation by Dr. Rutchanee Chantraket, Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, “Management Information System for the Monitoring of TT& CM Services in the Health Service System of Thailand”.