The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh aims to have 83 percent of its population covered by health insurance by the end of 2014.

Currently, 79.5 percent of the province’s population, equivalent to 820,000 people, are benefiting from health insurance, an increase of 3.8 percent compared with the same period of last year.

So far this year, as many as 840,000 local people received medical check-ups and treatment paid for by health insurance at a total cost of nearly 194 billion VND (9.2 million USD), an increase of 23 percent year-on-year, according to Lam Van Thu, Vice Director of the province’s social insurance agency.

However, the beneficiaries are mainly the poor, ethnic minority people who are entitled to free health insurance, while the general coverage of voluntary health insurance remains low, at 36.95 percent.

The province plans to increase communication activities on the benefits of health insurance while improving medical service quality in order to increase the number of people taking out voluntary health insurance. Its goal is to raise the overall voluntary insurance coverage to over 40 percent at the end of this year.-VNA