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Table 1 Timeline of policy development, affiliates, and its actions

From: Three decades of a lesson learned from Thailand: compulsory service for dentist workforce distribution

Year Policy Rationale Affiliates Actions National Economic and Social Development Plan of Thailand
1966 Propose 2-year compulsory service restriction for physicians [3] Tackle external brain drain Medical school Cabinet disapproved 1st Plan (1964–1966)
Focus on disease prevention and infirmary settlement across countries
1967 1. Establish 3-year compulsory service restriction for physicians [4] Tackle external brain drain MoPH The government partially provided financial subsidies for 6-year undergraduate medical students. Indicate a fine of 200,000 baht if breaking the compulsory service restriction 2nd Plan (1967–1971) Focus on workforce production and distribution from educational systems to healthcare service, especially in rural areas with difficulty in health service accessibility
2. Assign mandated physicians as civil servants [5] Motivate physician retention in public hospitals OCSC
1968 1. Propose 3- to 5-year compulsory service program for physicians [6] 1. Tackle external brain drain MoPH 1. Indicate a 3-year compulsory service program for physicians
2. Increase physician production in provincial area [9] 2. Increase physician production and distribution to rural areas 2. Distribute mandate physicians to rural hospitals
3. Develop central curriculum and examination for all medical institutions [10] 3. Control standard of the medical profession 3. Establish central examination to obtain a medical license
1973 Modify the official compulsory service restriction [11] Tackle external brain drain MoPH Increase fine to 400,000 baht if breaking the compulsory service restriction 3rd Plan (1972–1976) Increase production and distribution of public transportation to reduce inequalities between urban and rural areas
1978, 1981 Establish the Project of Increased Rural Physician Production [12, 13] Increase physician production and distribution to a rural area NESDC MoPH, MoF Starting point of the project of rural physician production 4th Plan (1977–1981) Increase workforce production, starting from the educational system, to meet the population's needs
1982 Establish 3-year compulsory service program for dentists [17] Reduce the increasing oral diseases in a rural area MoPH, OCSC All junior dentists of the year 1989 have to enter compulsory service in public hospitals 5th Plan (1982–1986) Focus on health service systems, from to district levels to subdistricts and villages
Increase dentist production and distribution to a rural area
Tackle external brain drain of the dentist
1987 Approve financial welfare for physicians, dentists, and pharmacists [27] Motivate health workforce retention in public hospitals MoPH, MoF Additional allowance for physicians according to levels of remote area 6th Plan (1987–1991) Focus on economic development
1988 Allocation of dentists to rural areas [44] Increase dentist distribution to rural areas MoPH, OCSC Allocation of junior dentists to primary care hospitals, public universities, and other state enterprises  
1992 1. Increase financial compensation for health workforces [45] 1. Motivate health workforce retention MoPH, MoF, BB MoI 1. Additional allowance for physicians and dentists (Professional allowance, Shift allowance) and non-private practice allowance only for physicians 7th Plan (1992–1996) Focus on economic development
2. Establish Health Systems Research Institute 2. Knowledge management for health system development MoPH
1993 Increase financial compensation for health workforces [46] Motivate health workforce retention MoPH, MoF Additional allowance for dentists and pharmacologists (non-private practice allowance)  
Solving financial injustice in 1992
1994 Establish the Collaborative Project to Increase Production of Rural Doctor (CPIRD) [19] Increase physician production and distribution to rural areas MoPH Indicate the criteria for the CPIRD applicants  
1997 Indicate compensation criteria for the health workforce [47] Motivate health workforce retention MoPH, MoF Increase allowance for dentists in remote areas 8th Plan (1997–2001) Focus on economic development
1999 Fulfilled university staff positions Adjust a positioning of university staffs due to an internal education restructure MoPH, MoUA Reposition of civil servants in universities to state enterprise employees
2001 Modified the compensation criteria according to the levels of remote area [28] Motivate health workforce retention in remote areas MoPH, MoF MoPH regulation on the compensation payment 2001 (No.1)
2004 1. Modified the compensation criteria according to the level of remote areas Motivate health workforce retention in remote areas MoPH, MoF 1. MoPH regulation on the compensation 2001 (revised editions) 9th Plan (2002–2006) Focus on economic development
2. Provided incentive for risking area/South boundary provinces [48] Motivate health workforce retention MoF, OCSC 2. Benefits for the provincial risk areas under the martial law
2005 1. The One District One Doctor (ODOD) project [49] 1. Increase dentist distribution to rural areas 1. MoPH, OCSC 1. The ODOD project (12-year CS and 2 million THB fine
2. The Project of Increased Rural Dentist Production [20] 2. Increase dentist production and distribution to rural areas 2. MoPH, MoE 2. 10-year project from 2005 to 2014
2005 Modified the compensation criteria Motivate health workforce retention
Adjust compensation payment rate and criteria according to each rural area
MoPH, MoF MoPH regulations on the compensation payment 2005 (No.2); increase non-private practice allowance
2009 Modified the compensation criteria Motivate health workforce retention
Adjust compensation payment rate and criteria according to each rural area
MoPH, MoF MoPH regulations on the compensation payment 2009 (No.5): indicate compensation rate of shift allowance, off-site allowance, pay for performance 10th Plan (2007–2011) Focus on economic development
2012 CPIRD 2013–2017 [50] Increase physician distribution to rural areas MoE, SoC CPIRD 2013–2017 11th Plan (2012–2016) Focus on economic development
2013 Modified the compensation criteria Motivate health workforce retention MoPH, MoF MoPH regulations on the compensation payment 2013 (No.8): indicate non-private practice allowance
2013 Modified the compensation criteria Motivate health workforce retention MoPH, MoF MoPH regulations on the compensation payment 2013 (No. 9): specify the criteria, methods, and conditions of compensations
2016 Modified the compensation criteria Motivate health workforce retention
Adjust compensation payment rate and criteria according to each rural area
MoPH MoPH regulations on the compensation payment (No. 11): specify the criteria, methods, and conditions of remote area allowance
  1. CS, compulsory service; OCSC, Office of Civil Service Commission; MoE, Ministry of Education; MoF, Ministry of Finance; MoPH, Ministry of Public Health; MoUA, Ministry of University Affairs; NESDC, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council; SoC, the Secretariat of the Cabinet
  2. Health workforce includes physicians, dentists, and pharmacists
  3. Noted that italic indicates the policies directly related to medicine; bold indicates the policies directly related to dentistry; and bolditalics indicates the policies related to medicine, dentistry and pharmaceutical sciences.