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National Assembly appoints new Government Office chief

Update: November, 15/2013 - 08:52

People go to central Phu Yen Province's General Hospital for treatment. NA deputies has conflicting opinions over whether health insurance should be made compulsory for all citizens. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Nguỵen Van Nen.—VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Lawmakers at the sixth meeting of the 13th National Assembly yesterday passed the Prime Minister's proposal to appoint a new official to the position of Minister-Chairman of the Government Office.

The position was vacant when previous incumbent Vu Duc Dam left to take over a Deputy Prime Minister portfolio.

With 85.94 per cent of votes, Nguyen Van Nen will leave his current position as Deputy Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Popularisation and Education to take on the role.

Yesterday, lawmakers were scheduled to consider an increase of the number of deputy chairmen across NA bodies and the Council of Ethnic Minorities.

Deputies revise Marriage Law

During the afternoon session, NA deputies also discussed the draft revisions to the Law on Marriage and Family and the revised Law on Health Insurance.

Most of the deputies agreed on the need for changes to the Law on Marriage and Family to meet the demands of a changing society.

The deputies unanimously agreed to remove a regulation prohibiting same-sex marriage under the 2000 Law on Marriage and Family to help ensure the basic rights of gay people and relieve social discrimination towards them.

"This is similar to a policy recognising co-habitation between same-sex couples in several countries around the world." said Huynh Tuan Duong from the northern province of Hai Duong.

Duong and Dang Dinh Luyen from central Khanh Hoa Province also agreed on a regulation that states both men and women must be at least 18 years old to get married, adding that at that age, they had matured enough both physically and intellectually for marriage.

Nguyen Thi Nhung from Khanh Hoa and Vu Thi Huong Sen from Hai Duong agreed to the legalisation of surrogate pregnancies to help infertile couples and secure marriages.

The deputies said, however, that the revised law needed strict specifications for each case.

Concerning the draft revision to the Law on Health Insurance, deputies had conflicting opinions over whether health insurance should be made compulsory for all citizens.

Nguyen Thuy Hoan, a deputy from the northern province of Thai Binh, said it would be difficult to make everyone buy health insurance because many people couldn't afford it.

Hoan said health insurance should be rolled out gradually.

Tran Van Minh from northern Quang Ninh Province, however, disagreed, saying that health insurance would ensure citizens had access to basic healthcare in an effort to protect community health.

Minh also pointed out that health insurance was partly subsidised by the Government, so the cost was not high.

He added the lessons learned from other countries revealed that applying compulsory medical insurance was the pre-requisite for the realisation of achieving national health insurance coverage. — VNS

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