Hanoi (VNA) - The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) and the Lao Social Security Organisation (LSSO) are set to hold a signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation for 2022-2025, on the sidelines of the 39th ASEAN Social Security Association Board Meeting in Vientiane, Laos this November.

The VSS and LSSO revealed the information during a working session held in Vietnam's central province of Quang Nam on August 25 to look into the implementation of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation for 2016 - 2020 and discuss cooperation orientations for the time ahead.

A representative of the VSS's Department of International Cooperation briefed participants on the results of the implementation of the MoU on cooperation for 2016-2020 between the two sides.

After five years of implementation, the VSS and LSSO implemented nine main cooperation activities through which their personnel's capacity, the implementation of social security policies, and the countries' stature in social security in the international arena have been improved.

Besides the achieved results, participants also pointed out shortcomings and limitations in the cooperation between the two agencies. Before 2020, most cooperation activities were under the set plans. However, some failed to meet their objectives, causing difficulties in implementing the next activities. Cooperation activities mainly took place at the central level. 

Vietnam, Laos enhance cooperation in social security hinh anh 1A communication campaign on social and health insurance (Photo: Vietnamplus)

Speaking at the working session, VSS Deputy General Director Dao Viet Anh said the VSS, which set up relations with the Lao Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) and LSSO in 1998, always attaches importance to friendship and partnership in social security with the Lao partners, and that the two sides have carried out many cooperation activities.

He underlined the agency's readiness to step up bilateral ties to implement joint programmes in the coming time, further strengthening their close relations and ensuring maximum benefits for people and businesses in the two countries.

LSSO General Director Keo Chanthavixay highly valued the implementation outcomes of the MoU for 2016 - 2020, signed between the VSS and the MoLSW, stressing that enhancing social security cooperation with the VSS is among his organisation's tasks for the coming time.

At the meeting, the two sides also discussed a draft MoU on cooperation for 2022 - 2025. Areas of cooperation include improving staff capacity in implementing administrative reforms and digital transformation in this field of social security; making proposals and advice on the realisation of social security policies; sharing good practices in devising and implementing social security policies; and continuing to expand the areas of cooperation in accordance with the capabilities and needs of each side.

The two sides will conduct joint technical and research activities and improve staff capacity through organising seminars, conferences, short-term training courses, exchanges of consultants and research groups, and sharing information and experience in implementing social security policies.

In the coming time, the two agencies will jointly finalise a report on implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation for 2016-2020, agree on cooperation orientations, and complete the MoU for 2022-2025.

According to the Vietnam Social Security, as of early 2021, the number of health insurance participants totalled 87.97 million, making up 90.05 percent of the country's population.

About 90 percent of the Vietnamese population is covered with health insurance and the government has fully subsidised the premiums for disadvantaged groups and those in difficult circumstances, and 70 percent of the premiums for the poor.

Being aware of the significance of primary health care, Vietnam has enforced 10 reforms to enhance the effectiveness of its healthcare system, particularly the competence of primary healthcare clinics to provide better services for both ill and healthy people.

The country is working hard to reach universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030./.