Ensuring employees who lost jobs or quit jobs enjoy health care following health insurance scheme

16/11/2021 10:39 AM

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long answered questions by National Assembly (NA) deputies during the 15th legislature’s second sitting on November 10 under the chair of NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue. Minister Long said the number of health insurance participants in 2021 will drop due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In face of difficulties, the ministry is coordinating with the Viet Nam Social Security and the Ministry of Finance to review the number of employees who lost jobs or had jobs suspended in order to have policies to support their health insurance participation and ensure the coverage rate of health insurance as well as ensure people to enjoy health care following the health insurance scheme.

Unprecedented prevention and control of the pandemic

At the session, deputies Nguyen Thi Yen from southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Nguyen Manh Cuong from central Quang Binh Province, Pham Van Hoa from Mekong Delta’s Dong Thap Province, Dinh Ngoc Sy from central Binh Thuan Province, Nguyen Thi Viet Nga from northern Hai Duong Province, Dinh Van Duc from Central Highlands’ Dak Lak Province and Nguyen Thi Thuy from northern mountainous Bac Kan Province questioned Minister Long about measures to comprehensively implement the Government Resolution No 128/NQ-CP across the nation; isolate F1 at home; manage testing prices; manage public hospitals; produce domestically-made SARS-CoV-2 test kits; vaccine distribution and inoculation for children; medical human resources training; improvement of pandemic forecast capacity; implementation of the equal vaccine strategy; and breakthrough solutions to reduce quality gap between mountainous areas and plain areas. 

Regarding measures to implement the Resolution 128, Minister Long said the COVID-19 pandemic was unprecedented and countries must base on real situation to take pandemic prevention and control solutions and strategies. Basing on the real situation of the country and consultation from international organisations and domestic experience, the Ministry of Health consulted the Government to issue the Resolution 128 on “Safe adaptation, flexibility and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Illustrative image (internet)

On the basis of the Resolution 128 and the Decision No 4800 of the Ministry of Health, localities have proactively assessed the risk level of areas under their jurisdiction and basing on real situations, localities have proactively carried out response measures in line with each level of risk to ensure efficiency. Localities have so far basically implemented the Resolution 128 comprehensively across the nation.

Concerning management over price of biological products and medical equipment and testing, Minister Long said the prices depended on the origins of the products and the purchasing time. When the pandemic just started to outbreak, the supply shortage led to price hike but when supply sources were expanded, the price dropped. The Ministry of Health increased licensing businesses to produce and import test kits and create conditions for researching and producing new products, expand supply sources to lower product prices; and mobilise businesses, international organisations and countries to donate to ensure the quality and quantity of test kits and biological products for the pandemic prevention and control.

The Ministry of Health has kept adjusting testing strategies in line with each period of the pandemic in order to carrying out testing effectively and economically; and reminded localities to ensure the bidding and purchasing of medical equipment and biological products in line with laws as well as increase inspection and examination to discover and handle violations.

Regarding measures to reduce health examination and treatment quality among regions, the Ministry of Health will replan the healthcare network and build hospitals at key areas; continue renewing human resources training and promote healthcare technology transfer from higher level hospitals to lower level hospitals; and improve quality and quantity of human resources for remote, mountainous and disadvantaged areas.

Review health insurance policies for employees 

Minister Long said it is necessary to implement measures to improve health, particularly health screening for people. According to health insurance policies, health screening for people could help to better health treatment. In the future, the Law on Health Insurance would be amended to provide early health screening for people, particularly infectious diseases.

NA deputy Phan Thi My Dung from southern Long An Province asked about solutions for the workers who had their jobs suspended or stopped working without salary due to the pandemic but they could not continue having health insurance cards extended. Minister Long said in 2020, the coverage rate of health insurance exceeded the set target and only nearly 10 per cent of the population has yet had health insurance cards. However, in 2020, the number of people participating in health insurance would reduce due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In face of these difficulties, the Ministry of Health is coordinating with the Viet Nam Social Security and the Ministry of Finance to review groups of workers who lost jobs or had jobs suspended to have proper policies to support them to participate in health insurance and to ensure the coverage rate of the health insurance as well as to ensure every people are taken care of following the health insurance scheme