Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — People with HIV/AIDS in the south-eastern province of Đồng Nai who have public health insurance can now go to any medical facility for treatment without requiring a transfer order from their designated hospital.
Until now they could only go to the health facility registered in their health insurance card. If they wanted to go to other places including higher-level hospitals, they had to obtain a transfer order from the facility.
The new system makes it easier for them to their hospital of choice, Dr Nguyễn Giỏi, deputy head of the province HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Centre, said.
The province’s website cites the case of a woman from Vĩnh Cửu District who tested positive for HIV eight years ago and developed pneumonia and candidiasis and needed to go to a province-level hospital for treatment.
It took a long time to get the transfer paper from the Biên Hòa city Preventive Health Centre, she complained.
Two medical facilities, the province HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Centre and the Long Khánh town Health Centre, have yet to sign up for the new system with Việt Nam Social Security, but are expected to come on board this month.
Dr Trương Văn Rạng, deputy head of the latter, said the centre has all the facilities needed to examine and treat people with HIV/AIDS.
It now provides free ant-retroviral (ARV) drugs to 412 people with HIV/AIDS.
Dr Nguyễn Thi Văn Văn, head of the Long Thành District Health Centre, said the ARV drugs are sponsored by the Global Fund and provided free.
The Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, designed to accelerate the end of the diseases as epidemics.
Of 486 people with HIV treated at her centre, Văn said 112 do not have health insurance cards.
The Ministry of Health has warned that if health facilities do not sign up with Việt Nam Social Security to cover HIV treatment for insured people, the province would have to cover the cost of ARV therapy for them and the Global Fund would stop its assistance from next year.
Đồng Nai Province has seen a decrease in the incidence of new HIV cases in recent years from more than 300 in 2015 to 200 last year and 60 so far this year.
But the incidence among men who have sex with men has increased sharply.
As of the beginning of this month the province has issued for free health insurance cards to more than 2,600 people with HIV/AIDS. It is likely to issue another 300 soon.
Its goal is to ensure everyone with the disease is covered by the beginning of next year.
According to the province Department of Health, 2,900 people with HIV/AIDS are receiving treatment at health facilities, with more than 87 per cent having health insurance cards. — VNS