Joining Hands to Build and Develop Universal Health Insurance

2:13:53 PM | 7/18/2019

On November 14, 2008, at the 4th meeting session, the 12th National Assembly passed the Law on Health Insurance, effective from July 1, 2009. In order to mark this important milestone in the process of developing and completing health insurance policies and laws, on June 16, 2009, the Prime Minister issued Decision 823/QD-TTg dated July 1, 2009 to take July 1 as the Vietnam Health Insurance Day in a bid to propagate the Health Insurance Law; encourage people to buy health insurance policies to realize the goal of universal health insurance; motivate and raise the sense of responsibility of health insurance workers.

Right in the first year of celebrating the Vietnam Health Insurance Day, the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam sent a letter to health workers dealing with health insurance affairs and all insured people, saying “Enforcing the Law on Health Insurance is not only a responsibility but also a token of mutual support, mutual love, mutual assistance and financial burden sharing with unfortunate sick people.” He appealed, “I urge the people and all health workers across the nation to actively join insurance policies and implement the Law on Health Insurance. Health workers, especially health insurance management units at medical facilities, must strictly implement professional regulations and the Law on Health Insurance, improve medical ethics and service quality for patients”. His instructions remain equally valuable to date.

With the goal of placing insured people at the center and the most important position, in the past nine years (from 2009 to 2018), the Vietnam Health Insurance Day has been an occasion to communicate and mobilize people to join forces to effectively implement the Law on Health Insurance towards universal health insurance. This activity has helped people become increasingly aware of the humanistic nature of health insurance policies, thus actively working as an effective preventive measure to their health, sharing with the community and achieving better-than-expected health insurance coverage to 89% as of the end of May 2019.

This has also become an opportunity for extensive communication and further awareness raising of government, sectors and society of health insurance position, role and significance - an important pillar of the social welfare system, an important part of the national health and financial policy, a method of mobilizing contributions of all people, organizations, society and State support to create financial resources for people's health care.

The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) picked up the theme for the Vietnam Health Insurance Day in 2019 as “Joining hands to build and develop universal health insurance”. The connotation of this year’s theme not only implies health-insured development and health insurance coverage expansion, but also includes construction, development and improvement of mechanisms and policies; policy implementation and the guarantee of the insured. The selection of this theme for the 10th anniversary of Vietnam Health Insurance Day concurs with the time Government directed related ministries and branches to carry out 5-year implementation of the Law on amendments and supplements to some articles of the Health Insurance Law, thus further improving health insurance policies and laws.

Communication contents are aimed for results and efforts of the social insurance sector and the health sector in reforming administrative procedures, improving the sense of responsibility and service attitude to health-insured people; efforts of the social insurance industry to apply information technology and electronic transactions to better serve health- insured people.

In addition to communications on sector-specific mass media, the Vietnam Social Security cooperates with media agencies to increase news, articles, reports and talks about health insurance; works with ministries, departments, branches and political and social organizations to communicate and mobilize health insurance for target groups.

Local social insurance agencies also coordinate with local units to organize communication activities such as seminars, dialogues and policy consultations at the grassroots level and produce reportages and columns on health insurance policies and laws.

In particular, this year, the Vietnam Social Security launched a program to present health insurance policies to poor people and poor patients”, expecting to give insurance policies to about 2,400 poor people in eight provinces and cities, raised from funds donated by insurance workers, individuals, organizations and enterprises. The program also called for the cooperation and assistance of individuals, organizations and enterprises for poor patients carrying severe diseases who are being treated at some central hospitals. Through this program, the Vietnam Social Security hopes the whole society will increase public awareness of the deep humanity of health insurance policy and engage their efforts for the goal of universal health insurance.