New medical fee guarantees health insurance holders

The Ministry of Health announced to raise medical fee to 2020 at a press conference on April 7 in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

In the road map, medical fee will include cost of medicine, direct material, water and electricity, waste treatment, equipment maintenance and depreciation, salary of medical workers, and scientific research training.

The present medical fee just covers medicine, materials directly used and water and electricity. Moreover, as per the regulation set by the ministries of Finance and Health, the medical fee is not allowed to exceed the maximum pricing frame.

Accordingly, each province has different medical fee index; consequently, health insurance payment in hospitals is different, creating unfairness.

The Ministry of Health assessed that after two year implementation of new medical fee it had proved to bring certain effects and insurance holders’ right had increased. Therefore, to continue raise medical service quality head of the Finance and Planning Department under the Ministry of Health Nguyen Nam Lien  said that ministries of Finance and Health would issue new medical fee for all hospitals at same level nationwide which include medical workers’ salary and bonus.

The Ministry of Health said that the new medical fee will affect to a group of people who do not pay for health insurance. Currently, medical cost is still low so some people pay for it. However, around 27 million people in the country (or 30 percent of the population) have not paid for health insurance.

Around 23.7 million poor people, ethnic minority people and social welfare beneficiaries  are not affected by the new fee as the government has paid for them and since January 1, 2015, the insurance companies have paid for them. Families whose economic condition is close to poverty line will be supported with 90 percent medical fee and they just pay 5 percent for the medical bill while they had to pay 20 percent before.

By Nguyen Quoc - Translated by Anh Quan

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