Skip to main content
  • Invited speaker presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Universal health coverage and medical industry in 3 Southeast Asian countries

Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand experienced changes in government expenditure in health. Indonesia and Thailand, move to more public financing. These countries did not have history of universal coverage and the governments have political motive for universal coverage. The case of Malaysia works in opposite direction: some members of communities (the affluent ones) are not satisfied with certain services and demand better health service using private financing. The policy issues is: how does the government policy for achieving universal health care also manage health service as an industry? This analysis of the issue shows: (1) universal coverage will have pressure for government fiscal condition; (2) private medical service will be “a good safety valve” in reducing the burden of public finance for health; (3) medical industry policy should support the development of private medical services but considering equity issues. The impact of universal coverage and medical industry policies are: more segmented hospitals based on technology and economy status; more diverse sources of health financing (public and private); more mechanisms of funding: fee-for-service, indemnity in commercial health insurance, managed care, and others. These impacts need a carefully crafted health policy within the broader social and economic/industrial policy.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Laksono Trisnantoro.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Trisnantoro, L. Universal health coverage and medical industry in 3 Southeast Asian countries. BMC Public Health 14 (Suppl 1), I3 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: