Health Management Service for Informal Sector

The survival of the urban poor.



Author   Ms. Sopa   On-o-pas

                 Ms.Nutchanat   Yuhanguow

                 Faculty of Social Work and Social Welfare            

                 Huachiew  Charlermprakiat University

                 Samutprakarn   10540 , Thailand


This presentation is aimed at providing certain information and experiences of self-employed hawkers and garbage collectors in Bangkok and its periphery. Some hawkers and garbage collectors reflected “ The Survival of the Urban Poor”, those barren of access to formal employment and any kinds of social safety net or health security schemes.  The intent of this research had two folds. One, it aims to define their working conditions, health risks, health care and to provide an assessment on the accessibility to health-service systems.  Two, it also defines the guidelines for the provision of the health-service systems these people.


This research included 165 subjects. Most of them were women, aged between 31-40.

They  migrated  from  the  Northeastern  Regions of Thailand  to the metropolis areas.

They worked on the roadside for 8-10 hours a day.   They also encountered polluted

air, dust, strong sunlight and noise of heavy traffic.  Moreover, they had to pay bribes

for  small  space  in  public  places  to local officers or  Mafia in order to run their

business.  So this is rather risky work without certain income and security.   As for

health care,  most perceived that they were strong and healthy at this middle age, so

they were not aware of any health protection. In case of illness, most bought drugs at

pharmacies instead of consulting a doctor. Half of them did not have any health

insurance for several reasons. However, they had to bear their own medical expenses,

if any. In case they are severely ill and their finance was scarce, they would resort to

take out a loan elsewhere. After analyzing the problems faced by hawkers and

garbage collectors, the study discussed and provided some guidelines of health-

service systems for an informal sector.           




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