USAID helps Vietnam improve its social health insurance implementation hinh anh 1USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock (second, left) and Vietnam Social Insurance Security Deputy General Director Pham Luong Son (second, right) signed a memorandum of understanding on supporting health insurance (Photo courtesy of US Embassy)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and on signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on supporting health insurance implementation on November 6.

The USAID local system sustainability project will provide technical assistance to the VSS to improve its Social Health Insurance (SHI) implementation for the next four years.

The project will also support Vietnam’s transition to full financial ownership of its HIV and tuberculosis responses.

The assistance will focus on three key areas, namely SHI policy implementation, management of SHI drugs and medical supplies, and exchange of information on health insurance policies, application of health technology and social health information systems.

Speaking at the signing ceremony VSS Deputy General Director Pham Luong Son said the MoU between the VSS and USAID is the first document officially signed between the two agencies.

It was also a significant event on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the US and the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the VSS (1995-2020).

The signing of the MoU opened a new phase of cooperation between the VSS and USAID, deepening the partnership through a series of technical assistance activities.

He expressed his belief that with the continuous efforts of the VSS and the valuable and effective assistance from international organisations such as USAID, the VSS will soon build a modern, sustainable and effective health insurance system, meeting people's satisfaction.

The VSS strives to realise the target of having 95 percent of the population covered by health insurance by 2025 and satisfaction rate of people will be up to 80 percent as required by the Government, he said.

USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock highly valued the close partnership between USAIDS and the VSS, and said USAIDS will continue to work together to strengthen the governance and financial management capacity of the VSS to manage SHI funds effectively, efficiently, equitably, and with accountability.

She said the MoU signing reinforced USAID’s commitment to support Vietnam’s efforts in its journey to self-reliance towards achieving strong, sustainable health systems as a means to support access to universal health coverage.

Over the past five years, USAID has worked closely with Vietnamese Government agencies, including the VSS, to include coverage of HIV treatment services and antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in the SHI scheme.

This considerable effort included updating over 20 policies to allow expansion of SHI to cover HIV treatment and ARVs, and transitioning 440 stand-alone HIV clinics into the national public health system so they can get reimbursed for providing HIV services.

As a result, over 90 percent of persons living with HIV nationwide are now enrolled and use SHI-covered HIV services. This year, SHI is set to procure ARVs for more than two-thirds of all HIV patients nationwide./.