Vietnam targets 90 pct health insurance coverage by 2020

By Vuong Duc Anh   June 4, 2016 | 12:31 am PT
Vietnam targets 90 pct health insurance coverage by 2020
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at an online conference on health insurance on June 3, 2016. Photo by VGP/Quang Hieu
Vietnam has set out a new goal in welfare development, aiming for 90 percent of the population to have health insurance by 2020, according to the government portal.

The target was proposed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during an online conference held yesterday with ministries and provincial leaders across Vietnam. Phuc said a well-developed country must have a good health care system, stating that health insurance coverage is one of the key factors in welfare policy.

Phuc assigned the Vietnam Social Insurance Agency (SIA) propose the plan to the government to expand health insurance coverage. The agency was also asked to form a network of healthcare facilities to ease the payment, examination and treatment procedures for patients.

Deputy Director of the SIA Nguyen Thi Minh pledged to PM Phuc that the computer-based system to monitor health insurance payments in 14,000 healthcare facilities all over the country will be put together before June 30.

The prime minister also ordered the Ministry of Health to direct hospitals and healthcare facilities to improve their service quality for citizens with health insurance.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the ministry has already adjusted the price for over 1,900 healthcare services which will help reduce the burden on the budget allocated to healthcare. The money saved can be used to support citizens to buy health insurance, she said.

“We will continue to adjust the price for those who do not have health insurance to ensure equality between the two groups while motivating people to buy health insurance,” Tien said.

Talking with provincial leaders, Phuc proposed to integrate the 90 percent health insurance coverage into the socio-economic development targets of each province. Phuc ordered local authorities to focus on supporting poor households, students from families with many children and average income households working in agriculture, forestry and fishery.

Phuc also asked the press to keep the public aware about the benefits and responsibilities of buying health insurance.

Authorities from big cities such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong and Hanoi agreed that in order to attract more people to buy health insurance, the first important thing is to improve the quality of healthcare. While most agreed on the state’s role in encouraging citizens to buy health insurance, there are also concerns that people might take it for granted.

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