A UN envoy in health rights has applauded the Vietnamese Government for addressing the health care needs of the poor and vulnerable.

“I would like to highlight Vietnam ’s commendable work over the last two decades in improving the health system,” UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health Anand Grover said at a press briefing in Hanoi on December 5 at the end of his 10-day survey trip to Vietnam .

The Vietnamese Government pays serious attention to issues relating to people’s right to health care and recorded admirable progress in improving its health services.

However, the UN expert said health insurance only covered basic health services and that more than 30 percent of households had to make huge out-of-pocket payments.

While underlining the Government’s efforts to generate more resources for the health sector, he warned that the strategies on issuing Government bonds and encouraging foreign and private investment in the health sector, especially through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, might push up the cost of medical goods and services, thus limiting the poor’s access to health care.

After this trip, Grover will build a report on Vietnam to be submitted to the Human Rights Council in June 2012./.