Thailand stands out as a leader in championing the health of migrants. As one of a few countries that provide migrants with universal access to healthcare, its national health policies reflect a gradually broadening framework of support for migrant health issues. Under the Royal Thai Government’s Migrant Health Strategy and Border Health Development Master Plan, migrants are recognized as a vulnerable group who often lack the economic means or social safety nets to access adequate health services.
Since 1999, IOM has been working closely in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to respond to the challenges of public health and migration. With the aim of improving health knowledge, awareness, practices and access among migrants as well as their Thai host communities, IOM supports the MoPH in promoting migrant-inclusive policies that address migration-related health vulnerabilities. This partnership was further enhanced in 2019, when a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to increase access to healthcare among migrants and vulnerable communities.
IOM delivers and promotes preventive and curative health programmes in Thailand which are beneficial, accessible and equitable for migrants and mobile populations. A comprehensive approach is taken in addressing public health risks, which helps to mitigate and eliminate the impact of communicable diseases, protect migrants and host communities and enhance national health capacity and social services.
IOM is particularly active in the areas of tuberculosis (TB) detection and COVID-19 prevention, outreach and awareness raising activities, supporting Migrant Health Volunteers, and has extensive experience in conducting health assessments. Through its own network of health assessment centres and laboratories, IOM provides extensive health services to migrants and refugees – such as medical screenings (including laboratory diagnostics, immunization and treatment) and psychosocial assistance – so that they can travel and remain healthy throughout their stay in Thailand and abroad.