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NA deputies concerned about health insurance fund safety

Hoang Nhung
Thursday,  Jun 15,2017,22:32 (GMT+7)
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NA deputies concerned about health insurance fund safety

Hoang Nhung

HCMC – National Assembly (NA) deputies on June 14 expressed concerns over losses and misuses of the health insurance fund, saying Vietnam Social Security (VSS) must take responsibility.

According to the Law on Health Insurance, which came into force in 2015, the insured can enjoy benefits that are greater than what they pay. Each year, VSS makes insurance payouts for around 150 million patients, VSS general director Nguyen Thi Minh said at a question-and-answer session between 49 NA deputies and Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien on June 14.

At present, around 83% of the population, or 77 million people, are covered by health insurance, higher than the post-2020 target of 80%. This result was achieved as the Government has adopted multiple measures such as raising health service prices, assigning socio-economic development goals to localities and inspecting the use of the social insurance fund.

The health insurance fund mobilizes over VND70 trillion (around US$3 billion) a year while

contributions by the insured are less than US$30 a person. The sector has also improved treatment and checkup service quality, Minh said.

However, the large number of patients has been found to

cheat in recent times while certain health workers have been discovered to keep patients at hospital for a longer time than needed and abuse scanning and checkup services.

Deputy Pham Khanh Phong Lan from HCMC said health insurance malpractices may be found anywhere but why VSS is not using information technology to connect the computer systems of hospitals and administering agencies to improve oversight.

The agency must take measures to save the fund from going bust such as revising up contributions.

Deputy Nguyen Huu Cau from Long An Province said some health workers have shown frustration at the way VSS inspectors work, which can put patients at a disadvantage. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and VSS should cooperate to deal with the problem.

To fight the abuse of the health insurance fund, Minister Tien said one of the measures is to recognize testing results among hospitals as from August. Administrative fines will also be increased to thwart the abuse of scanning and testing services at hospitals.

The ministry will focus on cracking down on social insurance fund misuses rather than tightening controls which will affect patients’ benefits, Tien said.

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