Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is set to introduce strategies designed to encourage artificial insemination and support those who wish to become parents, encompassing the LGBTQ community as well. The drive is part of an initiative to increase the country’s birth rate.
During a meeting with Jos Vandelaer, Thailand’s World Health Organisation representative, at Nakhonping Hospital, the Minister, Cholnan Srikaew, disclosed that the Department of Health (DoH) has been tasked with developing measures to enhance access to infertility treatments and preconception counselling. The DoH is to explore ways of optimising the provision of intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) services for those who require them.
Cholnan also highlighted that a change in the law to permit single women and the LGBTQ community to access infertility treatment is being considered. He predicted that the amendment could be proposed as early as March, reported Bangkok Post.
The ministry is planning to endorse infertility treatment as a basic benefit within the nation’s health security scheme. Cholnan mentioned the Give Birth, Great World campaign, which underscores the importance of boosting fertility and has been incorporated into the national agenda.
In his statement, Cholnan emphasised that the ministry is committed to safeguarding the reproductive and sexual health rights of individuals, particularly those belonging to vulnerable groups. He acknowledged the support received in this endeavour from international organisations such as the WHO, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
With a current population of 66,052,615, reflecting a decrease of 0.06% or 37,860 from 2022, Thailand experienced its lowest birth rate in 70 years with only 485,085 births reported last year. The initiative from the Ministry of Public Health aims to reverse this trend.
In related news, Thailand’s Public Health Minister acknowledged the declining birth rate as a national issue, proposing plans to address demographic challenges and boost population growth.