The north central region targets covering at least 95 percent of near-poor local citizens with health insurance by the end of 2015, with 98 percent protected the following year.

A function, held in central Thua Thien-Hue province on May 22, reviewed the region’s healthcare assistance project which includes giving health insurance aid to near-poor households.

Project Director Nguyen Nam Hung, Director of the Thua Thien-Hue Department of Health, said the project has increased the insurance coverage of near-poor people, whose incomes lie above but still very close to the poverty line, over the four years.

About 10 percent, or over 6,700 of the local near-poor people, have not bought health insurance, he noted, adding that the project management board will strongly provide premium support and enhance communication activities to raise public awareness of insurance benefits.

In 2015, the board will keep the assistance at the same level as that of last year. Seventy percent of the financial aid comes from the State budget, another 15 percent from provincial budgets, and 5-10 percent from project funding, Hung said.

The project, implemented from 2010 to the end of 2016, aims to promote the quality of medical examinations, treatment and preventive medicine and boost access to medical services. It has also provided local hospitals and clinics with new equipment, built infrastructure, and provided training for medical staff.

By the end of 2014, the project had raised the rate of near-poor people covered by health insurance in Thua Thien-Hue to 89.2 percent from 69.8 percent in 2011.-VNA