Viet Nam News
Trần Đình Liệu, Deputy Director of Việt Nam Social Insurance, speaks to the newspaper Tiền Phong (Vanguard) on his agency’s goal to have all Vietnamese students join the health insurance scheme.
What health insurance policy has the Việt Nam Social Insurance offered to Vietnamese students at the onset of the new school year?
With instructions and guidance from the Party and Government’s policies, the Social Insurance sector has worked closely with all education establishments nationwide to have wide and comprehensive coverage of health insurance for all Vietnamese students.
To achieve this objective, we have adopted flexible policies, including an installment payments mechanism to help ease parent’s financial burden for their children at the onset of the new school year.
Under our current health insurance policy, all students are entitled to register their health checks or treatments at primary health care centres at the communal/district level or any healthcare centre which is near their school, college or university. In special cases, referral to higher ranking hospitals will be allowed.
What are the challenges in implementing wide health coverage for students?
At present, our health insurance policy for students is still facing quite a lot of challenges.
Our current Law on Health Insurance has stated clearly that joining health insurance is compulsory for all Vietnamese citizens. However, until now Việt Nam doesn’t have any mechanism requiring all citizens to join health insurance. This has become a challenge for the health insurance sector. In some provinces/cities, the percentage of students joining the health insurance scheme is lower than the average percentage nationwide.
Trần Đình Liệu, Deputy Director of Việt Nam Social Insurance
However, in reality, many students and their parents have not thoroughly understood the positive side of joining the health insurance scheme. Meanwhile, some local health insurance offices have not paid due attention to encouraging everyone, particularly students, to participate in the scheme. Meanwhile, at the onset of the new school year, quite a few higher educational institutions, including colleges/universities, have not paid due attention to educating their students on their duties, including the law on health insurance.
Under the current Health Insurance Law, the students only have to contribute 70 per cent of the health insurance costs while the other 30 per cent is covered by the Government. Yet, in reality, some 7 per cent of students have still not joined the national health insurance scheme. Meanwhile, the percentage of general school students joining the health insurance scheme is much higher than university/college students. Yet, among university students, more 1st year students join the scheme than those in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th year.
The 2018-2019 school year has started, does the health insurance sector have any plan to get more students to join the scheme?
To achieve the target of 100 per cent of students participating in the health insurance scheme, we have ordered all insurance offices nationwide to be proactive in encouraging students to join the scheme.
We have even asked the Ministry of Education and Training to set specific targets for each university to encourage their students to participate in the health insurance scheme.
In the 2017-2018 school year, some 93.5 per cent of students nationwide participated in the health insurance scheme. And in the 2018-2019 school year, we want all students to participate in the health insurance scheme. This is a big challenge, but we’re confident that the target is achievable. — VNS
According to statistics from the Việt Nam Insurance Corporation, the percentage of students joining the health insurance scheme is increasing. In 2010-2011, some 70 per cent of pupils and students joined the health insurance scheme. But in 2012-2013 the figure jumped 80 per cent; in 2014-2015, it was 88.5 per cent; in 2015-2016, it was 90.5 per cent; in 2016-2017, it was 92.5 per cent and in 2017-2018, it was 93.5 per cent, equivalent to 16.5 million students.