Social health insurance as a means to achieving universal coverage and more equitable health outcome
This technical assessment was aimed at reviewing the implementation of the Health Insurance Law in Viet Nam with focus on marginalized groups including children under six, the poor and the near-poor and ethnic minority groups.
Overall, Viet Nam has made considerable progress in improving economic and social well-being such as reducing the absolute poverty rate and attaining rapid and sustained economic growth. Epidemiologically, Viet Nam has been experiencing a transition to that of a developing country with an increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Financially, key expenditures on health have been increasing. Specifically, total health expenditure as a percentage share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased slightly from 4.9% in 1998 to 6.4% in 2008, mainly as a result of increases in government and social security expenditures on health. The poor and children under six have been considered vulnerable groups in health financing policies in general, and in health insurance, in particular.