Thailand, unlike many Asian countries, never experienced colonial or imperial subjection and thus lacked the portal through which psychiatric services usually gained entry. As a result, progress in this field was initially slow. The first mental hospital was established in 1889, a century later than in India. The country has been fortunate inasmuch as it has been spared involvement in the wars, revolutions, and other social upheavals that have plagued Asia in the 20th century. Recent national stability and impressive economic growth have provided a sound base for the development of health services, and progress has been rapid in comparison with many neighbouring countries. Due attention has been paid to family planning, maternity and child welfare services. The provision of comprehensive primary health care in urban and rural areas is improving all the time. The education of children is universally regarded as important. Schooling is compulsory and attendance satisfactory.
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