Top Stories : Statement by the Minister of Public Health of Thailand at the 70th World Health Assembly, 22 May 2017, Geneva News

Top Stories : Statement by the Minister of Public Health of Thailand at the 70th World Health Assembly, 22 May 2017, Geneva


Statement on


Building Better Systems for Health in the Age of Sustainable Development”

H.E. Clin. Prof. Emeritus Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, M.D.

Minister of Public Health, Thailand


to be delivered at

the 70th World Health Assembly

on Monday, 22 May 2017

at Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland



Madame President, Director General,

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,


                   Sustainable development has become the central public policy framework for our age.  It is our greatest, most complicated commitment of aiming at a prosperous, inclusive, sustainable, and well-governed world, based on holistic approaches. Health is a precondition for, an outcome indicator of it.


                   Addressing challenges such as poverty, hunger, food insecurity, low quality of education, and unemployment, which are embraced in an equity framework, significantly contribute to health of the population; and in turn healthy nation contribute to economic prosperity and peaceful society.


                   Tackling the top health risks like tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages by implementing the best buy interventions including increasing tax, risks free environment, control of labeling, advertisement, and marketing, requires multi-sectoral collaboration and commitment, through “the whole of government efforts. It is the integrity of all national and global leaders that will overcome the financial, lobbying and inappropriate marketing power of the industries. The social and intellectual capital of WHO to support member states in enacting and implementing appropriate legal measures to tackle these NCDs risks are most valuable. A recent letter of support from the DG of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, to our draft bill for the control of marketing of infant formula based on the WHA resolution is a good example. It has tremendous positive implications for the legal processes.


         Thus we support the movement to strengthen the integrity and also the financial independence of WHO. Our cabinet approved the 10% increase in assess contribution, as proposed by Madame DG, which now reduced to 3%.


 Madame President,


                   Building better systems for health to achieve SDG requires three synergistic forces


                   First, we need multi-sectoral public private involvement to decide on healthy public policy. Thailand’s national health assembly is one good example of success on multi-sectoral action for health, which has brought in the private sector, who are part of the “problem” and part of the “solution” into the its mechanisms and processes. Furthermore, one private sector leader who used to be the President of the National Health Assembly, is included in the Thai delegation to this assembly.


                   Second, effective multi-sectoral actions for health require consensus across all partners to reach a “shared vision”. The shared vision is based on trust and mutual respect across sectors. Trust equals credibility plus reliability plus intimacy divided by Self Interests.


                   Third, a system of good governance is needed, in particular the rule of law to ensure transparency, hearing the voice of citizen, and ethical leadership.


Finally, Madame President.

                   Health is a shared responsibility across the society.


                   System for health is not health system. It cannot be monopolized by health professionals only, but a broad based whole of government and civil society involvement.


                   We do need both ‘Health in All Policies’ and ‘All in Health Policies’ to achieve all Health related SDGs.


                   Thank you.