Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly's Social Affairs Committee Bui Sy Loi told the Hai quan (Customs) Newspaper about difficulties being faced in expanding social insurance policies in Viet Nam.
What are biggest shortcomings of the social insurance sector at the moment?
After the 20-year implementation of social insurance policies, Viet Nam has gained remarkable achievements, especially in social welfare policies for the elderly.
However, many shortcomings still exist.
The biggest challenge was that coverage by social insurance hasn't met the demand of social welfare that all people of working ages must be insured by social welfare policies. To date, only 2.5 million retired people are paid by social insurance funds, along with another 11 million of the country's total 60 million labourers who are involved in social insurance services.
Many labourers and employers did not obey laws and regulations by avoiding responsibility to pay social insurance service fees. Dissemination and communication on social insurance policies have not been strong enough to strengthen people's awareness about responsibilities and benefits from the State's policy.
Implementation of social insurance policies faced some shortcomings in administration procedures and operational mechanisms that reduced the policy's attraction to people.
Finally, we think that legal policies and regulations were inadequate, while many policies could not be implemented due to the lack of decrees or instructions for implementing the laws.
These will be challenges for the social insurance sector in the coming years.
What are measures for handling these shortcomings?
Measures should be focused in two areas. Firstly, the social insurance service must be expanded, with an aim to have 50 per cent of the country's labourers involved in the Social insurance system by 2020, as a goal of Resolution 21 of the Political Bureau.
To expand the service, we must develop measures, mechanisms and implement communication programmes to change people's awareness about social insurance policies. This is a goal that the Party and the State should achieve.
Secondly, the policy must go along with available financial resources. We must create mechanisms and policies for balancing the social insurance fund, so that people will believe that the fund will exist, develop and handle economic instabilities.
What specific measures should the country enact to improve the social insurance system?
To expand coverage of social insurance services, improvements in the quality and
effectiveness of policies will be the biggest challenge and key target in building policies in the coming time.
For health insurance, it is necessary to improve the quality of examination and treatment services paid by health insurance funds, reduce medical spending burdens for the poor and to assure that everyone could access and enjoy health insurance services.
For retirement insurance, it is necessary to improve retirement pension levels with an aim to ensure the lives of retired people and the sustainability of retirement insurance systems in Viet Nam.
For unemployment, it is required to improve labourer's ability to find new jobs.
This would be the biggest challenge in perfecting social welfare policies in the future.
In general, Viet Nam should continue to have stronger reforms in the future in its efforts to reach the target so everyone can access and be insured by social welfare policies, as regulated in Article 34 of the 2013 Constitution. — VNS