Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Santi Promphat, has declared the encouragement of Thai women to have more children as a crucial component of the national agenda. Addressing concerns about the country’s declining birth rate, Minister Santi is pushing for urgent measures to reverse the trend.
Dr. Kenika Oonjit, a deputy government spokesperson, revealed that Minister Santi visited the Health Department on Wednesday to urge the implementation of 13 urgent policies aimed at enhancing health standards nationwide. While improvements in the universal healthcare program were mentioned, the most pressing issue highlighted was the need to address the plummeting birth rate.
Among the proposed measures is the expansion of fertility clinics to provide support for women facing infertility challenges, offering them improved chances of conceiving. Kenika emphasized that infertility issues would be tackled as part of integrated measures promoting both public health and environmental sustainability under the ministry’s “healthy city models.”
Minister Santi also aims to combat the low birth rate by introducing new measures and guidelines. Kenika stated, “The minister wants to make the issue part of the national agenda, so women can be offered incentives to have more children. Thai women will be honored for having children, recognizing their sacrifice in terms of health to conceive and give birth.”
A study conducted by Mahidol University has revealed a continuous decline in the birth rate in Thailand over several years. Alarming statistics indicate that the death rate has surpassed the birth rate. According to the study, as of December 31 last year, the Thai population stood at 66.08 million, with 502,107 births and 595,965 deaths.
In 1971, Thailand witnessed the birth of 12 million newborns. However, this number has sharply decreased over the years to 502,107 in 2022, as per the study’s findings. The minister’s initiative comes as a response to these concerning trends and is expected to stimulate national discussions on the complex interplay between demographics, public health, and social policies.