Download: ThaiHealth 2005 [Thai] [English]
 

Thai Health 2005

Free Trade : A Double-Edged Sward for Thai People's Access to Drugs

:: Preface ::
 
          The Thai Health Report is the second in an annual series. The first volume, published last year, was called Thai Health Report 2003, and this
one is called Thai Health Report 2005. The reader may wonder what happened to the year 2004.

          We have decided that each year's report should be named after that yea, to avoid confusion, and to prevent people from thinking that the
report is out-of-date from the day it is published. The Thai Health Report 2003 should be regarded as covering both 2003 and 2004.

         The report, like the first one, has three parts.
         The first part, Twelve Health Indicators, has 12 sections. Six of these sections look at physical health: deaths, illnesses, disability, pregnancy
and birth, cancer, nutrition. One section looks at mental health. Two sections look at particular populations: adolescents and elderly people. The
final three sections discuss social health: poverty, environment, and human security.

         The second part, Ten Plus Ten Health Issues, discusses some recent events and their effect on health. This part uses a new format: it looks
at ten notable issues for the year, and then briefly summarizes the additional issues. It also looks back at the ten notable issues form the previous
report, and describes any recent developments.
  The Ten Notable Issues  
  The Tsunami
Fire in the South
The Dilemma of the Bird Flu Epidemic
Rape and Thai Society
Sugar in Children's Milk and Snacks
Will Thai Traditional Medicine Fall into the Hands of Foreigners
Pornography and Teenage Sex
Teenage Violence
Hazardous Waste
Thai kids in the 'legal' traps of vices
     
         The ten issues that are briefly summarized are genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the Thirty Baht Scheme, obesity, police torture,
foreign objects in food, the effect of industry on health and environment, the International Aids Conference, accidents among children, the green
tea craze, and trafficking. The ten plus ten issues were chosen after consulting 1,386 ordinary people, scientists, and health workers.

         The third part of the report examines this year's Special Issue: Free Trade of Medicines. This issue will have long-lasting consequences for
Thai Society, as medicines are important to all of us. The report discusses the meaning of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and its likely impact on
our lives. How will it affect the way that Thai people use medicines. Pharmaceuticals are a complex topic, involving matters such as production,
regulation, and copyright. We need to know a great deal more if we want to become self-reliant in the future.


         After last year's edition of the Thai Health Report was published, we received many comments from readers. Most readers said that the
report was valuable, particularly for school students, university students, and their instructors, who used it for teaching and presentations. All the
thousand copies of the report were distributed.

         This year, a CD version of the report has also been produced. Additional electronic copies (in English and Thai) can be downloaded from the
website www.thaihealth.or.th.

         The comments we have received have encouraged us to continue producing issues of the Thai Health Report, each year better than
that last.

         We hope only that the report is a valuable source of data. But if it also encourages people to take an interest in their own health, that
would be even better

The research team
April 2005

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