Health sector facilitates universal healthcare coverage in 2018: minister

Friday, 2018-01-19 16:50:12
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The health sector is implementing measures to facilitate the goal of providing healthcare for all. (Photo: Duc Anh)
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NDO – The health sector is implementing a range of core tasks in 2018 towards universal healthcare coverage as set by the sixth plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has stated.

During a national teleconference on the healthcare tasks for 2018 this morning, Minister Tien affirmed that 2017 saw the health sector spare no efforts to effectively implement its tasks under the 'patient-centred' goal, which resulted in positive results.

Last year, the proportion of health insurance coverage increased to 86.4%; drug prices were reduced by nearly 17% with the organisation of bidding for pharmaceutical products procurement; and Vietnam successfully produced a measles-rubella vaccine.

Comprehensive solutions helped the sector to surpass the two goals assigned to it by the National Assembly (NA) in 2017, making the number of beds per 10,000 people reach 25.7% (the NA’s set target was at 25.5%) and health insurance coverage reach 86.4% (the set target was at 82.2%).

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien speaks at the conference. (Credit: NDO)

Minister Tien revealed that this year, her ministry aims to exceed 11 more targets than 2017. In particular, the NA and the Prime Minister have assigned two tasks, to bring the number of hospital beds per 10,000 people to 26% and the proportion of the population participating in health insurance at 88.5%.

Praising health officials at all levels for their great efforts to innovate in 2017, Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam affirmed that 2018 requires greater demand for healthcare innovation. The government official stressed the need to further strengthen the autonomy of hospitals, urging the health sector to provide support to the satellite hospitals to operate autonomously in order to ease the overload at higher level medical facilities.

He also asked the sector to finalise service listings and treatment regimens for patients to follow, while facilitating focused national bidding for pharmaceutical products to reduce drug costs, and promoting IT applications in treatment.

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam addresses the online conference. (Credit: NDO)