Medical treatment quality to improve after service hike: experts

Though there has been an increase in health services, it is not enough; accordingly, in the future, the ministries of Health and Finance will ask to hike medical fee.

In the road map for increasing medical fee, health services will include operation bonus and salary for medical workers in these last months in 2015 and 2016, said Nguyen Nam Lien, deputy head of the Health Ministry’s Department of Planning and Finance.

The two ministries are waiting for approval to the circular proposing the new fees for over 17,500 techniques. Once the new fee is approved, the cost for bed will surge by VND10,000-VND20,000 (US$0.45-US$0.90) a day; operation cost will increase by  VND300,000- VND1.5 million (US$13.57-US$67.87) per case and medical workers’ monthly salary also increase.

The hike in medical service will include negative and positive factors. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, said that the adjustment in medical fee will improve examination and treatment quality as well as offer a fair competition between private and public hospitals.

Nguyen Nam Lien said that on basis, the hike in medical services will not affect 14 million poor people, ethnic minority people, those in serving in accordance with the country’s revolution and 9 million children below 6 year old who benefit most of health insurance. Yet experts said that families whose economic condition are close to poverty line and those who work in fishery, agriculture, forestry will pay more as they must pay half of the fee.

Worse, increase in medical cost will directly affect to nearly 30 percent of the country’s population or nearly 26 million residents most of them are unstable-income laborers, farmers and those who are close to poverty line because these people don’t buy health insurance. 

Therefore these people should buy medical insurance to reduce burden of health cost if they are ill. Though people in close to poverty line receive the government’s support up to 70 percent of health insurance, they must pay VND200,000 (US$ 9.05) annually which is a big amount to them.

By MINH KHANG - Translated by Anh Quan

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