Monday August 8, 2022 – Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Ministry of Public Health honored KKU to preside over the opening ceremony of the HIA Forum 2022: for Social Harmony and Sustainable Development, which was aimed for learning and sharing of health impacts. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Ministry of Public Health also gave an online special talk on this occasion. The event, held on August 8-9, 2022, was organized under the collaboration of Khon Kaen University and the National Health Commission Office (NHCO) and HIA Consortium. Prof. Wongsa Laohasitiwong, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University welcomed the distinguished guests while Doctor Prateep Tanakitcharoen, M.D., Secretary of the National Health Commission delivered the reporting speech. The conference was organized in a hybrid style with the onsite part held at Kosa Hotel, Khon Kaen, where about 400 people attended. Another roughly 400 attended the conference online, while live broadcast was available on Facebook live for the interested public.
Prof. Wongsa Laohasitiwong, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University said, “We are happy to welcome administrators and personnel of different organizations as well as new generation of academics to this meeting as they are the power behind the deployment of Thai society towards sustainable development. We will never leave anyone behind, for we are going to use the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) under the health system development and build the learning process for it. The Faculty of Public Health is taking the responsibility as the core in creating collaboration with the national Health Commission Office (NHCO) and the HIA Consortium in Isan and other regions. We are participating to promote and support deployment of HIA, by building bodies of knowledge, research management, supporting production and development of manpower who are competent in HIA. This is connected to programs of studies and short training in various topics. We also encourage the use of health impact assessment as the tool for setting public policy for heath at different levels. The work outcomes have been concrete and led to extension in policy from the carrying out of HIA at area levels. This is the role of the academics and institutions to use the knowledge to support the implementation and assistance of people and communities. The knowledge obtained from the studies are then extended and recommendations drawn for the national organizations in charge.”
Doctor Prateep Tanakitcharoen, M.D., Secretary of the National Health Commission said, “The HIA Forum is the collaboration between the Committee for Developing Health Impact Assessment System and Mechanism, which is the mechanism under the National Health Commission. In this regard, the National Health Commission Office (NHCO) acts as the secretary board. NHCO joins Khon Kaen University and the HIA Consortium all over the country to hold this national conference in order to support knowledge construction and development of the consortium and personnel of the relevant organizations, including the local administrative organizations so that they can deploy Thai HIA more broadly. It is a good chance to support the principles and methods of health impact assessment that has arisen from the Public Policy 3, 2022, announced by NHCO in November, 2021 that leads to implementation by the consortium and related organizations in the future.”
“This Forum is organized under the key issue of “HIA for Social Harmony and Sustainable Development” in order to disseminate and exchange knowledge from the implementation of health impact assessment and other related academic works. It also includes the lessons learned from operations at different levels. Personnel and people involved in health impact assessment can apply this in their work, both in policy and in operation at different levels and areas. The database of HIA Consortium has also been developed, which will be useful in coordination and connection of work in the future.”
Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Ministry of Public Health mentioned in his opening speech and special talk, “Sustainable development sees the importance of holistic development of economy, society and the environment, which should be conducted by means of a participatory process to create healthy society in the 4 dimensions: body, mind, intellect, and society. Thailand has deployed this issue in accordance to the National Health Act since 2007, or for 15 years. All through this period, the public policy from the population has taken the role in solving the country’s health problems. The National Health Act is part of the transform of perspective related to health of Thai society, from physical treatment in time of illness to caring for health for lifelong healthiness. Besides physical health care, people should see the importance of mental health, and caring of the society for a disease-free environment. This is the new perspective that the public should understand.”
“The correlation of the health factors at the individual, family and community levels is related to the concept of Health in All Policies. The participatory process of the governmental, private, social community, and local administrative organizations necessitates health impact assessment (HIA). This can be achieved by encouraging organizations, department and different networks to encourage personnel to take part in HIA in all regions, which will enable people to have access to the fundamental health care under the National Health Act. It answers the human right concept announced by the United Nation in 2021. I hope that the results of the Forum will be concrete and the strong network built for social harmony and sustainable development in the long run,” said Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.
News / Photos: Watchara Noichompoo