Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Some 50 hospitals will impose a fee hike for people without health insurance from Thursday (June 1).
The fees will be applicable at special-class and first-class hospitals of the Ministry of Health and hospitals under sectors.
The fee hike for the uninsured will be imposed in 30 provinces in August, another 15 provinces in October and the remaining 18 provinces in December.
Accordingly, nearly 1,900 different services and products at public healthcare facilities will become more expensive for the uninsured.
Healthcare service fees that have been adjusted include those for health check, technical service and testing.
Specifically, the fee for a health check will increase from VNĐ20,000 (US$0.8) to VNĐ39,000 ($1.7) at special-class and first-class hospitals.
Bed charge for intensive care and for patients undergoing organ transplants at special-class hospitals will hike from VNĐ354,000 ($15) to VNĐ677,000 ($29).
Operation and surgery fees will be more expensive by 20 to 30 per cent.
Lê Văn Phúc, deputy head of Việt Nam Social Insurance’s Health Insurance Policy Department, said the fee hike this time is significant for in-patients, patients being treated for a long period without holding health insurance or those using technical services and testing. For example, positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) will cost over VNĐ20million ($867).
The move makes the fees for the uninsured equal to the current fees applied for people with health insurance.
“The basic difference between the insured and uninsured is 80-100 per cent of the hospital fee of the insured will be covered, while the uninsured have to pay 100 per cent,” Phúc said.
According to Nguyễn Nam Liêm, head of the ministry’s Department of Planning and Finance, the similar hospital fee for both groups -- the insured and the uninsured -- is to ensure equality and encourage people to buy healthcare insurance.
According to the health ministry, Việt Nam currently has 75 million health insurance cardholders, or 81.3 per cent of the population, which means nearly 20 per cent of the country is uninsured, most of whom have above average living standards.
The health ministry is encouraging nearly 20 per cent of uninsured population to buy health insurance to avoid financial burden in case of sickness.
A healthcare insurance card in Việt Nam can be bought at more than VNĐ600,000 ($26) per year and comes with huge benefits. – VNS