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Vietnam Today

Vietnam-Japan health payment project agreed upon

Released at: 17:20, 12/07/2017

Vietnam-Japan health payment project agreed upon

Photo: JICA

"Developing and Strengthening the Management of Provider Payment Methods and Basic Health Service Packages Reimbursed by Health Insurance Funds in Vietnam" project to get underway in October for two years.

by Ngoc Chi

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Ministry of Health (MoH), and Vietnam Social Security (VSS) signed a Record of Discussion of Technical Cooperation Project on “Developing and Strengthening the Management of Provider Payment Methods and Basic Health Service Packages Reimbursed by Health Insurance Funds in Vietnam” in Hanoi on July 11.

The project will be implemented for two years from October.

Universal health coverage and universal health insurance are targets set by the government in the “National Strategy for Protection, Care and Improvement of People’s Health in the Period of 2011-2020 and Vision to 2030”.

In order to achieve these targets, one of the essential health financial solutions is to apply an appropriate health insurance system. Health insurance coverage now stands at 81.7 per cent of Vietnam’s population, half of whom are the poor or in other groups whose insurance is paid for by the State budget.

About 20 million Vietnamese people have not yet taken out health insurance and many are disadvantaged or face difficulties in life. The major challenge is how to provide necessary and sufficient healthcare services to all Vietnamese to increase coverage rates while maintaining financial sustainability in the health insurance system.

Under the project, Japanese experts and their Vietnamese counterparts will focus on identifying the optimal provider payment method, developing benefit packages based on situational analysis, improving the Health Insurance Claim Review Information System, and increasing social health insurance coverage.

The optimal payment method should contribute to improving healthcare quality, ensure equitable payment among healthcare service providers, and increase the effectiveness of the management and use of the health insurance fund.

MoH established the National Advisory Council on Health Insurance Policy in August 2016 based on the Japanese model, with the participation of representatives from MoH, VSS, and health service providers and users.

The principal function of the Council is to advise the Minister of Health in making decisions on directions, policies, and major projects on health insurance issues. The project also aims at refining the functions of the Council.

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