PM Requests VSS to Establish Inclusive Multilayered Social Security System

3:23:29 PM | 20/2/2020

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) has constantly reformed its policies, played a key pillar in the social security system towards universal insurance and expressed the good nature of our regime. That message was expressed by the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Conference on the 25th VSS founding anniversary (February 16, 1995 - 2020).

Delivering a speech to the conference, the Government’s Chief highly appreciated achievements that the social security sector has made for 25 years. First of all, policies and laws on social insurance and health insurance have been increasingly completed and synchronized to match the country's development process and international practices. The organizational model of the social insurance and health insurance system has been increasingly improved in line with Party policies on organizational reform and streamlining, e.g. reducing three quarters of administrative procedures (from 263 to 27 procedures). VSS has built a database and granted social insurance codes to 97 million people. Especially, the electronic health insurance assessment system has been connected with 100% of medical facilities and automatically assessed medical expenses covered by health insurance for public, transparent and effective management and use of the medical expenses covered by health insurance. The coverage of social insurance and health insurance has been further expanded. By the end of 2019, social insurance policyholders reached nearly 16 million (accounting for about 32.3% of the labor force) and health insurance policyholders totaled nearly 86 million (accounting for 90% of the population). At this rate, Vietnam has basically realized the goal of universal health insurance and reached the target ahead of schedule set in Resolution No. 21, a status that even developed countries need 40-80 years to get.

The Prime Minister also praised VSS for its achievements in administrative reform and information technology application with many outstanding results: Reducing three quarters of administrative procedures (from 263 to 27 procedures), building database and granting social insurance codes for 97 million people, connecting electronic health insurance assessment system with 100% of medical facilities and automatically assessing medical expenses covered by health insurance for public, transparent and effective management and use of the medical expenses covered by health insurance.

On behalf of the Government, the Prime Minister praised VSS employees’ efforts for the social security sector during the past 25 years.

He emphasized that “Taking care of the people’s health and prosperity is the responsibility of our Party and State. Our ultimate goal is having a universal social security system that meets international standards and establishes a multilayered safety net to protect all.” To achieve that goal, the coverage of social insurance must be broader. All workers and dependents must have a safety net. With less than a third of workers holding social insurance, the target is still very distant. So, it is necessary to make more efforts to achieve the target set by the Resolution of the Government: The coverage rate of 35% at the end by 2021 and 45% by 2025.

The Prime Minister stated that “We need more specific, more creative solutions to overcome shortcomings. We need to promote digital application to have unified management, effective performance and more economical personnel apparatus, reduce the time to pay social insurance in the coming time, deal with the abuse of health insurance fund and evasion of social insurance payment.”

Importantly, social insurance reform is being implemented amid many difficult socioeconomic challenges, limited resources and low income of people. Meanwhile, the laborer rate in informal sectors is high; changes made to social insurance regimes over time expose certain irrationalities; the pressure of aging population on the social insurance system is enormous; and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly changing in the labor structure and labor relations.

The Prime Minister also cited the health insurance policy to prove its important humanistic role in dealing with Covid 19 epidemic that is developing extremely complicatedly. However, even though all people have health insurance, the service coverage rate is low and the coverage payment is still limited. Getting vaccinated against flu every year, people will have stronger resistance/immunity and face less risk of getting flu, thus reducing the burden on society. This will be a concern and adjustment in the near future.

To make the social insurance a truly main pillar of the country's social security system, the Prime Minister suggested that VSS and relevant agencies grasp the overall view of the Resolution No. 28 of the Central Party on social insurance policy to achieve the goals.

In the next phase, the Prime Minister requested VSS to work out a development strategy to become a modern and effective institution powered by information technology application and uninterrupted connectivity in policy enforcement. VSS must be a prime example of ensuring public satisfaction and worker confidence; continue to improve the social security system in an integrated manner for centralized, unified and shareable management between the State, society and people, between people in one generation and among generations; ensure equity, sustainability and adherence to the country’s socioeconomic development objectives and tasks; continue to expand health insurance coverage; step up administrative procedure reform and information technology application; complete the national insurance database; connect and share information with ministries and branches; and seamlessly deal with administrative procedures on the National Data Axis to play a significant part in building a successful e-government.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister awarded the Government's Emulation Flag to the Vietnam Social Security and presented the third-class Independence Order to VSS General Director Nguyen Thi Minh.

By Huong Thom, Vietnam Business Forum