|Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien hands over health insurance cards to near-poor households in Thanh Hoa Province this morning. — Photo www.moh.gov.vn
THANH HOA (VNS) — The health ministry, the Viet Nam Women Union and the Viet Nam Social Insurance Agency today jointly gave free health insurance cards to 4,000 near-poor households in northern Thanh Hoa province.
The action aims to share the difficulties of the people and provide them better access to medical services, especially near-poor women.
The cards worth VND800 million (US$40,000) were donated from the fund of the Vietnamese women's health movement.
Launched by the health ministry and the Viet Nam Women Union in October 2014, the movement mobilised nearly VND16 billion ($800,000) to buy health insurance cards for the near-poor and those facing difficulties.
Speaking at the event, health minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said, "Involving them in the health insurance service would be the best health protection for each person and community." The health insurance service has covered 71.6 per cent of the country's population, or more than 64 million people. Tien said poor people, children under six, ethnic and minority people or those living in difficult areas have been provided free health insurance cards by the State Budget.
Last year, 3.2 million of the country's 5.1 million near-poor were covered by the health insurance service, an increase of 20 per cent compared to 2013.
However, around 40 per cent of the near-poor households are not covered by the service, despite the State funding 70 per cent of the service's fees.
It is still beyond the capacity of several near-poor people to pay the remaining 30 per cent of health insurance fees, or about VND200,000 ($9.5).— VNS