Health insurance currently covers nearly 1.3 million people in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, about 70 percent of the population.

The figure includes all impoverished and ethnic minority residents, which is attributable to local efforts in implementing universal health insurance.

Its social insurance agency has worked with the provincial Department of Health to publicise the benefits of health insurance to the community, while streamlining administrative procedures to access insurance.

At the same time, a number of local hospitals and clinics have been equipped with advanced facilities while healthcare staff have received professional training.

Dak Lak targets 74 percent and 84 percent of its population to be covered by health insurance by 2015 and 2020, respectively.

To that end, the province plans to accelerate the popularisation of insurance advantages to its people, particularly households nearing the poverty line, students and labourers, and improve the quality of medical services.

It will also consider permitting the purchasing of health insurance for whole households and the use of the local budget to help families close to the poverty line to buy insurance.-VNA