Pham Luong Son, Head of the Health Insurance Policy Board, under the Viet Nam Social Insurance, spoke to social media about benefits of a new policy of health insurance at the district level.
The new Health Insurance Law came into effect on January 1. In your opinion, what are the advantages of the new law?
The main objective of the law is to give people better access to better healthcare services.
Under the new law, people with health insurance cards at district level can access health checks or treatment at any health facility they want to within their own district, without requiring referral papers as before.
As a result, the number of people having health checks or treatment in facilities or hospitals at district or precinct level in many cities like Ha Noi or HCM City has increased considerably.
According to the latest figures, the number of patients using their health insurance cards in the first month of 2016 increased by 150 per cent compared to that of the previous year.
In addition, Viet Nam Social Security has worked closely with the health sector to ensure the rights of people with health insurance cards to avoid the misuse of the health insurance fund.
What about the management of health insurance cards?
Under Circular 40.2015/TT-BYT issued by the Ministry of Health, city/provincial health departments and city/provincial social insurance offices will take responsibility to calculate the number of health insurance cards that provincial health departments issue. Of course, these two departments will have to analyse services at each health facility in every city and province.
For people living at district level, it is up to them to select the facility they choose to have health checks or treatment.
To ensure better use of the health insurance fund, the Ministry of Health and the VSS have worked closely to develop a good set of IT tools to monitor the use of the fund and to provide the best possible treatment for patients.
Do you think by 2021, the same health policy will be applied to health facilities at city level?
That's the target for both the Ministry of Health and the VSS. I'm confident that the lessons learned from district health facilities and IT technical support can be applied at city level health facilities by 2021. — VNS