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Thứ 4, Ngày 20/08/2014, 11:00
Health programme helps Mekong’s poor
20/08/2014
More than 600,000 people who live on the margins of poverty have been financially supported to buy voluntary health insurance over the last four years under a major healthcare project in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

Project director Le Thi Thanh said at an evaluation conference held last week in Can Tho City that the number accounted for 81.42 per cent of the total number of people living near the poverty line in the region.

The first-ever project to offer healthcare support for Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta residents was developed by the Ministry of Health, with a total investment capital of US$85 million sourced from Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds.

The five-year project aims to offer financial support for 13 provinces in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta so that each locality would be able to pay partial payment of hospital fees for people living near the poverty line in the region.

The project also targets better healthcare facilities and services in the region by next year.

In the nine Delta provinces of Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, An Giang, Can Tho, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang and Tra Vinh, the project had been able to ensure all residents in the category were able to buy voluntary health insurance, Thanh said.

Vietnamese citizens earning less than VND200,000 (US$10) per person per month in rural areas and less than VND260,000 ($13) per month per person in urban areas are considered poor.

The project has also helped nearly 17,000 patients in financial difficulties pay their treatment fees at an average of about VND1 million per person.

More than 1,300 healthcare personnel with doctorate and masters degrees as well as specialist doctors in the 13 delta provinces received further training under the project.

General hospitals at the provincial level and health centres in the region were able to acquire modern equipment and other facilities, Thanh said at the meeting.

This year, the project seeks to support over 50 per cent of people living near the poverty line in Hau Giang, Ben Tre, Vinh Long and Dong Thap provinces buy voluntary health insurance.

It will also invest in upgrading 11 general hospitals at the provincial level, and develop a system to supervise epidemics by applying IT solutions at many localities.

The World Bank, which co-hosted the conference with the Health Ministry, said that this project played a very important part in supporting Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces develop policies to provide quality medical examinations and treatment to poor people and those living near the poverty line.

The rate of people living near poverty line in Vinh Long, Dong Thap and Hau Giang provinces who buy voluntary health insurance, is still low at present, according to the bank.

All students (from grade one to university) and people who are working for state or non-state companies are compulsorily required to have health insurance.

Other citizens have the option to purchase health insurance on their own volition.

 

VietNamNet

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LONG AN PORTAL
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