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Free Content Tuberculosis services and treatment outcomes in private and public health care facilities in Thailand, 2004–2006

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BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization recommends that national tuberculosis (TB) programs encourage public and private providers to follow the ‘International standards for tuberculosis care’. We assessed services and treatment outcomes in TB patients in public and private facilities to inform public-private mix scale-up in Thailand.

METHODS: We prospectively collected data on TB patients in four provinces and the national infectious diseases hospital during 2004–2006. We analyzed services and outcomes among new pulmonary TB patients according to facility type.

RESULTS: Of 7526 patients, 4539 (60%) were treated in small public facilities, 2275 (30%) in large public facilities and 712 (10%) in private facilities. Compared with the private sector, more public sector patients had at least two sputum smears examined, were prescribed a standard anti-tuberculosis regimen and received directly observed therapy; however, public sector facilities also performed suboptimally. Treatment outcomes were unsuccessful for 237 (33%) patients in private facilities, and for respectively 1018 (23%) and 655 (29%) patients in small and large public facilities.

CONCLUSIONS: TB diagnostic and treatment services and outcomes should be enhanced in both public and private facilities in Thailand. Initiatives are needed to improve treatment outcomes and increase the use of microscopy, standardized TB regimens, and directly observed therapy in the public and private sectors.
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Keywords: Thailand; default; directly observed therapy; private sector; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Health, Bangkok Metropolitan Health Administration, Bangkok, Thailand 2: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 3: Thailand Ministry of Public Health–US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Collaboration, Nonthaburi, Thailand 4: Office of Disease Prevention and Control 7, Ubon-ratchathani, Thailand 5: Chiang Rai Provincial Public Health Office, Chiang Rai, Thailand 6: Research Institute of Tuberculosis, Tokyo, Japan 7: Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, Phuket, Thailand 8: Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, Nonthaburi, Thailand 9: Thailand Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand 10: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; and Thailand Ministry of Public Health–US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Collaboration, Nonthaburi, Thailand

Publication date: 2009-07-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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