A doctor examines an HIV patient at the HIV/AIDS prevention and control centre of Khanh Hoa province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has expanded health insurance coverage among HIV patients taking ARV treatment to 83.4 percent at present from 50 percent in 2016, helping ensure that they can maintain long-term treatment in the context of decreasing international financial support for the field.

According to the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Department under the Health Ministry, the rate has reached 100 percent in five provinces in the country which are Ha Nam, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Lang Son and Ca Mau, and more than 90 percent in 30 provinces and centrally-run cities.

Stephanie De Goes, coordinator of PEPFAR (the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) in Vietnam said health insurance is the backbone of a nation’s sustainable HIV/AIDS treatment programme.

[Ministry expects all HIV patients covered by health insurance]

PEPFAR has worked with Vietnamese Health Ministry and other partners to expand health insurance coverage among HIV patients and improve access to HIV/AIDS treatment services through health insurance.

According to Stephanie De Goes, Vietnam is the most successful among countries working with PEPFAR to provide health insurance for HIV patients.

The HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Department said the health sector is rushing to prepare for the provision of ARV medicine through the Health Insurance Fund as from January 1, 2019 under the Prime Minister’s Decision 1125/QD-TTg dated July 31, 2017. Accordingly, after the decision takes effect, 191 medical establishments will be provided with ARV medicine to treat around 48,000 patients.-VNA