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Parents now need ID card to buy kid’s medicine

Update: February, 24/2018 - 09:00
A customer at a pharmacy on Quán Sứ Street in Hà Nội. Parents in Việt Nam will need to present their ID card numbers when buying children’s medicine from March 1. — VNA/VNS Photo Thái Hà
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A new regulation which requires the identity card number of a parent or guardian in the prescription form to buy medicines for a child aged six or less is making parents uneasy.

The new circular regulating prescription for outpatient children will become effective from March 1.

According to the new requirement introduced by the Health Ministry, besides mentioning the name and age of the child, the name and age of the parent or guardian, family address, health insurance card number, diagnosis, medicine names and doctor’s advice will also need to be provided to purchase medicines.

The ID card number can either be the old nine-digit number or the new 12-digit number.

The Health Ministry said the move was aimed at monitoring drugs taken by children to ensure safety.

A woman named Nguyễn Thị N. told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper that her husband’s name was written on her child’s health insurance card but when she took her child to the district hospital for a medical examination, the doctor asked for the ID card of the child’s father. The woman was in a fix as her husband worked 500km away from home.

Parents facing a similar situation are confused as they don’t know how to cope with the new regulation.


Meanwhile, paediatric doctors have said the requirement is impractical and are concerned that the regulation would cause inconvenience to patients.

“What if the parents neither bring the ID card nor remember the number? Should we ask them to go home to get it?” said Trương Hữu Khanh, who works at Paediatrics Hospital No.1 in HCM City.

Trần Minh Điền, deputy director of National Paediatrics Hospital, said that the regulation on ID card number of a parent or guardian was currently applicable to inpatients to ensure that the family paid the hospital fee. He, however, said the feasibility of the new regulation must be reviewed.

Meanwhile, a family will need to pay for medicines prescribed for outpatient children under six. Currently, every child under six receives free health insurance.

A paediatric doctor told Tuổi Trẻ that it was difficult to put the regulation into practice although he understood the purpose of the regulation, which was to ensure that parents did not use the health insurance card of one child to avail medical treatment for another child.

Lê Văn Phúc, deputy director of Việt Nam Social Insurance’s Department for Health Insurance Policy, said the requirement of ID card number of a parent or guardian in the prescription form of the child was not related to any insurance agency.

A medical expert recommended that to monitor the use of a health insurance card, the ID card number should be printed on the card and be scanned with the card code, instead of checking the ID card number each time the child underwent a medical examination. This would also eliminate the need for parents to physically present their ID card in case they were far away. — VNS



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