|ADB financial aid will focus on funding local healthcare systems. – VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved financial assistance of US$100.6 million to support Việt Nam’s effort to improve healthcare service quality, especially in poor and border areas, Vietnam News Agency reports.
The package includes a US$88.6 million policy-based loan to provide budget support for the Ministry of Health to implement complex nationwide reforms in key areas such as public investment governance, health service delivery and workforce capacity improvement in local healthcare systems.
A US$12 million non-refundable aid package will complement those reforms by piloting healthcare service delivery models in 12 districts in six provinces with high rate of poverty, many ethic minority peoples and poor healthcare security.
Gerard Servais, ADB Senior Health Specialist, said the programme was part of ADB’s coordinated effort to help Việt Nam’s government achieve universal health coverage, including access to essential health care services.
He also stressed the grant’s potential to fund critical investments to help ensure quality health service delivery in remote, disadvantaged areas, with a strong focus on women’s health.
According to the bank, the impressive economic growth in the past three decades had helped Việt Nam reduce its poverty rate from 52.9 per cent in 1992 to 2 per cent in 2016.
However, wealth is not fairly distributed along the country, which leads to inequality in access to quality affordable healthcare services, especially in maternity and pediatric care.
For example, the infant mortality rate in the Central Highlands in 2015 was 2.48 per cent, while the percentage in the Southeast region was 0.86.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and Pacific region, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members, 48 of which are from the region.
In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in co-financing. — VNS