30 million not covered by health insurance in Vietnam

At a meeting organized by the Ministry of Health and Vietnam Social Insurance (VSI) on December 10 in Ho Chi Minh City, to review three years of implementation of Medical Insurance Regulations, it was disclosed that almost 30 million people still did not have health   insurance.

Statistics of the insurance company show that in the last three years, many more people, especially vulnerable groups such as children, low-income people and indigenous ethnic minority communities, have been covered by health insurance.

The country now has 57,082 million people or 65 percent of the population under medical cover, a year-on-year increase of 4 million.

The midland and mountainous regions in the North have 77 percent people participating in the program, especially in northern mountainous provinces of Son La, Lai Chau, Ha Giang, Bac Kan and Cao Bang where 90 percent have been covered with health insurance.

However, a large number still have not bought health insurance just because of poor treatment in district clinics, entanglement in treatment fees and disagreements between the ministry and the insurance company--resulting in complaints from residents and lack of confidence in governmental policies.

Around 30 million people have not joined any health insurance scheme so far. Only 50 percent of the population in the Mekong Delta has been covered by health insurance such as in Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Dong Thap and the southern provinces of Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the Health Insurance Law has a positive effect on health insurance policy in the country, stressing that the policy should be adjusted to suit each residents’ demand and also requires improvement in paper formalities for easy access for patients going to hospitals.

The health minister said that the ministry has submitted a project to reduce overloading in hospitals in which it proposes to build five satellite hospitals for crowded hospitals. A family doctor project and medical doctor project has also been submitted by the ministry.

The insurance company proposes to increase insurance support for students from 30 to 50 percent and 30 percent for farmers working in the field of agro-forestry-fisheries.

By T. Dat - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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