DHR,Government of India, travel to Thailand for HTA study tour

By Laura Downey , Kavitha Rajshekar Feb. 8, 2017

The Government of India is committed to extend healthcare services to its 1.25 billion population as part of India’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda. The Medical Technology Assessment Board (MTAB) to be set as a part of Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare aims to reduce the cost and variations in patient care, expenditure on medical equipment in directly affecting the cost of patient care, overall cost of medical treatment, reduction in out of pocket expenditure of patients and streamline the medical reimbursement procedures for effective implementation of the Universal Coverage Programme. An Indian delegation visited HiTAP,Thailand to study the complete process of implementation of HTA. 

The objective of the study trip was to understand the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) system in Thailand. Specifically:

o   The mandate, roles and responsibilities of HITAP within the Thai health system

o   The relationships between HITAP and technical partners

o   The roles and responsibilities of committees, advisory bodies and workflow of HTA processes

o   The resources required for conducting HTA

The following participants from India attended the study tour, representing the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Indian academia, and the Ministry’s implementation body, the National Health Systems Resource Centre: Shri V.K. Gauba, Join Secretary, Department of Health Research (DHR), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Government of India; Dr. Shankar Prinja, Associate Professor, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), India;   Dr. Mohammad Ameel, Advisor, National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), India; Dr. Kavitha Rajsekar, Scientist E, Department of Health Research (DHR), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW), Government of India

Day 1 started with opening remarks by Dr. Yot Teerawattananon, Founding Leader, HiTAP, Thailand and focused on the objectives, overview of the three day workshop. Ms.Netnapis Suchonwanich of HITAP, Thailand, and former Deputy Secretary-general at National Health Security Office highlighted about the Universal Health Coverage in Thailand. Ms. Waranya Rattanavipapong gave a detailed Introduction to HITAP, an associate organization with the Bureau of Health Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand and gave an overview about the capacity of resource persons available and HiTAP strategies for policy implementation. Dr. Yot Teerawattananong gave the complete Historical development of HTA in Thailand  and methodology involved in Topic Selection for HTA in Thailand. Ms. Alia Luz briefed on all the Conducive Factors responsible for development of HTA in Asia.

Day 2 focused on benefit packages under the Universal Coverage scheme  in Thailand, National Health Security Board structure and function by Danai Chinnacom. Ms. Pattara Leelahavarong briefed on the Coverage decision for development of National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) in Thailand. The Indian delegation attended the Sub-committee for the development of National List of Essential Medicine (NLEM) to observe and get hands on experience about Thai HTA system.

Day 3 focused on Development of Infrastructure for HTA in Thailand by Dr.Sitapore from Mahidol University. Mrs. Netnapis Suchonwanich gave a detailed presentation on the Implementation of HTA Results in Thailand. An Elaborate discussion was undertaken by the Indian Delegation with Dr. Yot Teerawattananon on HTA Development in India.

This trip was very useful to give a background to how HITAP was started and the way in which HTA is used to inform decision making in health in Thailand. We plan to take this new knowledge and use it to help in planning towards the establishment of the Medical Technology Advisory Board (MTAB) and using HTA evidence to inform decision making in India.