|A doctor examines a child in northern mountain Yen Bai Province's Mu Cang Chai General Hospital. Around 70 per cent of the country's population bought health insurance, with the country getting closer to its goal of national health insurance, according to the NA.— VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam is getting closer to its goal of national health insurance coverage, according to a report presented by the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee at a NA meeting yesterday.
By the end of last year, nearly 70 per cent of the country's population had health insurance, the report stated. Employers and individuals covered about 58 per cent of insurance costs, while government funds took care of the remainder.
The national health insurance fund has been balanced since 2012, despite having been overspent in previous years.
However, the NA Standing Committee noted that there was not yet a way to encourage groups of people with low coverage to get insurance.
Another issue raised by lawmakers was the fact that local hospitals provided poor treatment to the insured due to limitations in medical technology and staff capacity, causing overcrowding at central hospitals as unsatisfied patients flocked to them for better healthcare.
The ethics and professionalism of medical staff are also "slow to improve" and there are not enough inspections of operations, lawmakers said, causing public concern.
Moreover, there is a significant price gap between hospital and market pharmacies, as well as between different hospitals.
The committee noted that hospitals failed to use up-to-date technology to improve the procedures for medical treatment and health insurance payments.
A group of inspectors proposed that the National Assembly issue a decree to promote national heath insurance coverage.
The inspectors also proposed that the Government order cities and provinces to take measures to increase health insurance coverage, paying special attention to localities and groups with low participation rates.
After listening to a report by Truong Thi Mai, Chairwoman of the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs, deputies gave their opinions on what legal documents should guide the implementation of the Health Insurance Law and how to expand insurance coverage.
The deputies also discussed payment methods for health care services and other related issues concerning the Health Insurance Law.
Today the deputies will study relevant documents, followed by a day off.
On Monday, lawmakers are scheduled to approve a resolution on the socio-economic development plan for 2014 and consider personnel work.
In the afternoon, they will divide into groups to discuss the draft revision to the Construction Law and the draft revision of the Law on Environmental Protection. — VNS