Japan and Vietnam cooperate in improving health insurance system

21:58 11/07/2017

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Vietnam Social Security (VSS) signed the Record of Discussion of Technical Cooperation Project on “Development and strengthening the management of provider payment methods and basic health service package reimbursed by Health Insurance Fund in Vietnam” in Hanoi on July 11. 

The Project will be implemented for 2 years from October 2017. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and universal health insurance are targets set by the Vietnamese Government in the “National Strategy for Protection, Care and Improvement of People's Health in the period of 2011- 2020 with vision to 2030”.

In order to achieve these targets, one of the essential health financial solutions is to apply an appropriate health insurance system. Currently, the coverage of health insurance reached 81.7% of Vietnam’s population, while half of them are the poor and other groups whose insurance is paid by the State budget.

About 20 million Vietnamese people have not yet enrolled in health insurance and many of them are disadvantaged or have difficulties in life. The major challenge is how to provide necessary and sufficient healthcare services to all Vietnamese to increase enrollment rate while maintaining financial sustainability of health insurance system.

Under the Project, Japanese experts and Vietnamese counterparts will focus on identifying the optimal provider payment method, developing the benefit package based on situational analysis, improving Health Insurance Claim Review Information System and increasing the enrollment in social health insurance. The optimal payment method should contribute to improve healthcare quality, ensure equitable payment among healthcare service providers and increase the effectiveness of management and use of the health insurance fund.

MOH has established the National Advisory Council on Health Insurance Policy (the Council) in August 2016 based on Japan’s model with the participation of representatives of MOH, VSS, health service providers and users. The principal function of the Council is to advise the Health Minister to make decisions on directions, policies, major projects on health insurance issues. The project also aims at refining the functions of the Council.