Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has called on localities to rally funds to pay 30 percent of the health insurance premium for people living near the poverty line as a way to get more people insured.

By the end of last year, only 1.6 million near-poor people bought insurance, accounting for 26 percent of the group.

In June, the PM signed Decision 797, which raised the Government's financial support for near-poor people buying health insurance from 50 to 70 percent of their annual premium.

However, many of them still need the remaining 30 percent, which should come from capable localities, said Pham Luong Son, Head of the Vietnam Social Insurance's Health Insurance Policy Department.

The Government plans to have the entire population insured by 2014, Son added, although currently only 60 percent are insured.

Son also said that the Government will spend about 2.3 trillion VND (113.3 million USD) this year to provide insurance to more than 6 million people living near the poverty line.

He estimated that with the subsidy, more than 40 percent of the country's near-poor will have access to health insurance by the end of the year.

Near-poor people are classified as those earning 401,000-520,000 VND (19-24 USD) per month in rural areas, and 501,000-650,000 VND (23-30 USD) in urban areas.-VNA