The ministry has linked the squat down toilets with growing rates of osteoarthritis in the country with more than six million Thais and expats suffering from the condition. Over four in five houses and public toilet facilities use the squat toilets.
The ministry will be phasing them out with sit-down toilets by 2016 and apart from saving healthcare costs, they hope that it will also provide a boost to the tourism industry, which earns around seven percent of the country's GDP.
"Prolonged periods of squatting have been found to cause arthritis. It is hoped the new toilets will save a few more knees and boost tourism", a source said.