Insurance coverage

Solutions to increase health insurance coverage in Vietnam

A scientific seminar “Towards securing a financial mechanism for people’s health care in Vietnam” was organized by the Health Economic Research and Evaluation Center (HERAC) of the Vietnam Medical Association on 12th of March.

According to experts, Vietnam is currently classified as a middle-income country, with a GDP per capita of $2,800 and an annual health expenditure per capita of $151.

Financial constraints are one of the reasons why Vietnamese people have limited access to health care, especially for chronic diseases that require long-term or lifelong treatment, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and expensive cancer drugs.

Vietnam is on track to achieve universal healthcare by 2025, with 95% of the population covered by health insurance, laying the foundation for a long-term healthcare system capable of achieving universal coverage and other health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

To achieve this objective, synchronous solutions involving public and private partners may be necessary, allowing the development of sustainable payment methods taking into account the income of the population, the accessibility of the health insurance fund and the infrastructure of economic development of the country.

Participants of the seminar “Towards a financial mechanism for the health care of the population in Vietnam”. picture by Novartis

Dr. Dang Viet Hung, director of the health insurance department of the Ministry of Health, said that today, social health insurance includes not only insurance but also social assistance, serving as a safety net. safety for all Vietnamese. The Health Insurance Fund is also included in the Prime Minister’s instruction to help with macroeconomic management.

“We promote complementary health financing for social health insurance in various forms and solutions, including direct support to employers; complementary health insurance based on social health insurance; health insurance or insurance regulated by market rules and subject to insurance business law; insurance packages, other management care; cumulative personal financial insurance,” Hung said.

Dr. Dang Viet Hung, Director of Health Insurance Department, Ministry of Health.  Photo by Novartis

Dr. Dang Viet Hung, Director of Health Insurance Department, Ministry of Health. Photo by Novartis

Dr. Nguyen Khanh Phuong, Institute of Health Strategy and Policy, Ministry of Health, proposed to strengthen the link between social and commercial health insurance based on international experience, realizing the goal of increasing health insurance coverage for the entire population.

Phuong assessed the potential for connection by exchanging and connecting data between health insurance participants and health insurance medical institutions; the development of supplementary health insurance (additional services in terms of expenses and benefits), support and sharing of experience in the pricing and evaluation of health insurance.

Rachel O’Neale, CEO of Pharmaceutical Organization Head, Novartis Vietnam, said Novartis uses science, technology and innovation to save and improve lives with the vision of reinventing medicines.

“We are committed to working with the Vietnamese government and healthcare institutions to find solutions that improve patient affordability,” O’Neale added.

The Seminar “Towards a Financial Mechanism for People’s Health Care in Vietnam” is a forum for experts, health financing researchers, health insurance and hospitals to share their knowledge and ideas.

The seminar brought together more than 100 medical experts to find solutions to issues related to maximizing financial solutions, in particular the ability to integrate public and private health insurance into universal health care.

This is part of a series of seminars on medical financing and the application of medical technology assessment in health policy planning that HERAC plans to organize throughout 2022 with the sponsorship of Novartis Vietnam and d ‘others.