A Vietnamese delegation led by Health Minister Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến attended a high-level meeting on universal health coverage at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoài Thanh
NEW YORK — A meeting on universal health coverage was held yesterday at the United Nations General Assembly with the theme ‘Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World’.
The event gathered heads of state, political and health leaders, policy-makers, and universal health coverage champions advocating health for all.
According to the World Health Organisation, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) ensured people had access to quality and affordable healthcare services when needed.
Speaking at the meeting, Việt Nam's Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến said the Vietnamese Government had put many efforts into ensuring its people had access to healthcare.
“The health service delivery network has been widely established from central to commune level with more than 11,000 commune health stations. Most commune health stations have a physician, nurse, midwife and traditional practitioner, and operate based on the principle of family medicine,” she said.
The Vietnamese delegation led by Health Minister Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến at a high-level meeting on universal health coverage at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday. — Photo Courtesy of the Ministry of Health
According to the 2017 UHC Monitoring Report compiled by the WHO and World Bank, the service coverage index of Việt Nam scores 73 out of 100, comparing favorably to the average for South-Eastern Asia of 59 and the global average of 64.
The social health insurance programme now reached 90 per cent of population coverage and the government subsidised 100 per cent of health insurance premiums for vulnerable people and 70 per cent for the near poor, Tiến said.
Being aware of the important role of primary healthcare for achieving sustainable UHC, Việt Nam had implemented ten health reform policies to strengthen the performance of the healthcare system, including strengthening the capacity of grassroots healthcare to provide services for both sick and healthy people.
Healthcare services have been expanded at grassroots levels to ensure the provision of comprehensive services of health promotion, disease prevention and early detection of diseases and treatment, focusing on non-communicable diseases.
Reforms of financial mechanisms and infrastructure investment, including Private Public Partnerships, training for health workers at grassroots facilities, have been leading the way to ensure the implementation of UHC in Việt Nam.
Tiến said the main difficulty the country was facing was a financial mechanism at grassroots levels. In addition, resources were still focused more on curative services and insufficient for promotive, preventive and primary healthcare services.
Việt Nam's Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến at the event.— Photo Courtesy of the Ministry of Health
The UN meeting aimed at accelerating progress towards universal health coverage, including access to essential health services, including skilled health workers, financial risk protection and access to safe, quality, effective and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. The meeting will result in a political declaration on universal health coverage, negotiated by member states and endorsed by heads of states. — VNS