Vietnam offers preferential loans to medical graduates hinh anh 1Medical students practice at a hospital (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Government has planned to spend about 317 billion VND (14.2 million USD) yearly on offering preferential loans to disadvantaged medical graduates during their apprenticeship at hospitals before medical exams and treatment practice.

Under the Law on medical examination and treatment, medical graduates can either take an apprenticeship lasting from nine to 12 months as a midwife, nurse or medical technician or from 12 to 18 months as a physician before they are granted professional practice certificates.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung decided to expand the student loan programme where disadvantaged medical graduates could borrow up to 1.25 million VND (56 USD) per month with preferential monthly interest of 0.65 percent from Vietnam Bank for Social Policies.

Orphaned medical graduates or graduates with only one parent who is unable to work are eligible for the loans, as are graduates from poor families or those with financial difficulties due to diseases, natural disasters or accidents.

To apply for the loan, borrowers must show confirmation from healthcare institutions proving that they are taking apprenticeships there.

Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) will offer loans tailored to borrowers based on the apprenticeship cost and average living cost.

According to Finance Ministry, by 2019, about 74,000 medical students could benefit from the policy which takes effects from May, 2016. The programme needs funding of more than 1.58 trillion VND (71 million USD).

In 2007, Vietnam launched a student loan programme helping students from poor, near-poor families or those with temporary financial difficulties to study at universities, colleges and vocational schools.

Deputy General Director of VBSP Nguyen Van Ly said that in the last eight years, the bank offered loans of about 55 trillion VND (2.5 billion USD) to more than 3.3 million students.

He said that the bank suggested Government to increase monthly loan to 1.5 million VND (67 USD) per student to match increased living costs, particularly higher tuition fees.-VNA