|People pay fees for treatment at Chợ Rẫy Hospital in HCM City. The plan to hike fees in December may be delayed to avoid the negative impact on the Consumer Price Index. – VNA/VNS Phương Vy|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — A Ministry of Health’s plan to increase hospital fees in December may be delayed in several provinces and cities across the country.
Phạm Lương Sơn, deputy director of Việt Nam Social Insurance Agency, said at a press conference held on Wednesday that the fee hike may be delayed as it could have a negative effect on the country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The health ministry had drawn up a roadmap till the end of 2017 to adjust hospital fees, which also covers the salaries of doctors and other health workers.
Fee adjustment began in August and is being implemented in five rounds, to mitigate its social impact and its effect on the nation’s CPI.
The first two rounds of the fee hike were applied to 32 provinces and cities, where 85 per cent of the residents have health insurance cards. Fees rose by 18 per cent and 50 per cent in August and October, respectively.
The third round of rate hike, scheduled for November, will be reviewed, while the fourth round, which was planned for December, will be suspended, Sơn said.
The expectation was that hiking hospital fees in areas where a high percentage of residents have signed up for health insurance would provide those regions with sufficient funds, he said. However, the Health Insurance Fund had to allocate over VNĐ10 trillion (US$445 million) in addition to the collected capital to offset the rise in cost of health check-ups. The fee adjustment is aimed at ending subsidies to hospital and improving the quality of health services, he said.
Earlier, in March, the health ministry decided to raise the cost of around 1,900 services and products at public hospitals by 30 per cent. — VNS