Health Ministry wants insurance to reach more people

The Ministry of Health and Vietnam Social Insurance held a joint conference on August 2 in Hanoi to discuss the status of the project ‘Health Insurance for Citizens until 2020’.

The Ministry of Health and Vietnam Social Insurance held a joint conference on August 2 in Hanoi to discuss the status of the project ‘Health Insurance for Citizens until 2020’.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien
 Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien

Reports presented at the conference showed that at the moment, only 55.9 million people have signed up for health insurance programs, accounting to 63.7 percent of the population.

This is because of neglect by the government to encourage citizens, as also to poor quality of services in hospitals, plus complex procedures when applying for treatment. All these factors greatly reduce interest in people for health insurance programs.

According to the project ‘Health Insurance for Citizens until 2020’, the number of citizens taking part in health insurance programs should reach 75 percent in 2015 and more than 90 percent by 2020.

Statistics confirm that the number of workers paying for health insurance through social insurance, which is aided from the national budget, have already reached 96 percent.

As stated by Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Minister of Health, in order to fulfill the task, concerned agencies should try to focus on other groups of people such as employees of private companies, poor people, students, etc. when they implement any propaganda campaign.

Minister Tien also announced that the Ministry of Health is planning to provide many financial support packages as incentive for people participating in health insurance programs. For example, social insurance will pay 70 percent of health insurance costs for lower income people and give them insurance cards. The other 30 percent can be paid by participants themselves or through charitable groups.

Social insurance will increase its support for students to 50 percent of the health insurance cost, and for medium-income households in the countryside from 30 percent to 50 percent.

Accordingly, the estimated increase in national budget, in order to help pay avail health insurance, will be VND6 billion per year (approx. US$288,100), adding to a total of VND107,529 billion ($5,162.22 million) during the period 2012 until 2015.

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