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PM Dung urges public to take out health insurance

Update: June, 30/2012 - 09:05

HA NOI — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has asked the country to pave a route to health insurance for all people as part of the annual socio-economic targets of provinces and cities nation-wide.

Dung was speaking at a meeting held yesterday in Ha Noi on the occasion of Viet Nam's Health Insurance Day, July 1.

"Health insurance is a social policy of the Government, an important part of the country's financial-medical policy," stressed Dung.


Mekong Delta poor get healthcare support

HA NOI — The poor and borderline poor in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta have had better access to health care as a result of a project funded by loans from the World Bank and non-refundable aid from the Japanese government over the last five years, according to Ministry of Health.

With total capital of US$85 million, the project was conducted in 13 provinces and cities in the region, helping to improve the quality of the healthcare system in the region.

A total of $1 million in aid was given to support medical check-ups and treatments at public hospitals in the region from 2007 to 2009, according to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen, who spoke at a recent workshop.

Besides a subsidy of 50 per cent from the State's budget, the project also provided another 30 per cent of the total funds given to the borderline poor to buy health insurance, beginning in 2009.

The project helped 2.44 million borderline poor through 2011, or more than 60 per cent of the total number of people in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region. The total capital provided to the families was $7.4 million.

From September 2009 to July 2011, 808 heart surgeries were performed with the project's subsidy of $1.4 million.

The project provided equipment for 17 general hospitals in the region in order to improve the quality of health services.

It also trained high-quality human resources for the region, including 23 doctors, 230 university graduates, and other medical specialists. — VNS

"Health insurance should be continuously reformed and perfected in terms of its policy, with an aim to encourage more people, especially those living in poverty, to take part in the service," said Dung.

"Health insured should be provided with convenient examinations and treatment, especially for those from mountainous and remote areas, ethnic and minority groups and the poor," said he.

The PM said that the country's health care system should be adjusted to meet equity, effectiveness and development, especially health care systems at the grass-roots level. Health insurance law dissemination should be put forth to strengthen public awareness and health insurance service implementation.

"Information and communication of health insurance should be focused on groups with currently low participation in the service, such as farmers, the poor, students and employers in private enterprises," added Dung.

At the event, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said that health insurance rates had rapidly increased from 5.6 per cent in 1993 to 63.7 per cent in 2011. Insurance benefits had also expanded, in which the poor, children under six years of age, and people having contributed to the country's revolutions were provided free health insurance cards by the Government.

However, Tien said, health insurance policy hadn't attracted the majority of poor people, people working in the agricultural, forestry, aqua cultural fields, or small traders and self-employed labourers due to shortcomings of health insurance services and administrative procedures in medical units.

The Ministry of Health's statistics said that health insurance activity has achieved remarkable results during the past 20 years. Health insurance law was adopted by the National Assembly in 2008 as an important foundation for the perfection of regulations, policies and the service's management system in Viet Nam. — VNS

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