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Trần Thị Mai Oanh,  Khương Anh Tuấn et al.

Place of publication: Ministry of  Health
Year of publication:  2009

In 2008, the Ministry of Health was authorized by the government to commission drafting the Law on examination and treatment. In accordance with the Law on Enactment of normative documents No. 17/2008/QH12 and Decree 24/2009/NĐ-CP, any agencies commissioning a law drafting process need to conduct a regulatory impact analysis (RIA).
As assigned by the Minister of Health, in 2009, the Health Strategy and Policy Institute conducted a review of the socioeconomic impact of the draft law to explore the level of socioeconomic influence of specific key perspectives of the draft Law on examination and treatment to help provide evidence for refinement of the law and inform the government and National Assembly for decision making in 2009.
The method used is designed based on the minimum RIA framework based on RIA guidelines for Vietnam of GTZ.
Five key areas of concern with the draft law were included in the assessment: 
Practice licensing for health providers and quality certification for health facilities; 
Licensing and extension of professional/practice certificates for medical practitioners and other requirements pertaining to issuance and re-issuance of practice certificates; 
Organization model and operations of the national medical council;
Addressing patients’ complaints against technical errors in medical practice; 
Issues related to medical services delivery in humanitarian or emergency circumstances.
Alternative options to each of the dimensions are also included for socioeconomic impact assessment to highlight in part the direct and indirect benefits, necessary costs, as well as socioeconomic bearings, equity, gender, the poor, ethnic minorities etc.); impacts on the public administration system and intended groups affected by the law; health providers, medical practitioners, patients, sustainable development and feasibility of individual perspectives and alternatives. 
The issues and alternative options were discussed and assessed by representatives from the National Assembly, Office of Government and various stakeholders who may be affected by the law at different levels. Information was compiled and analyzed to identity any positive and negative impacts, economic and social benefits of every option, and the practicability of each area of concern and alternatives.

All the five key areas of concern in the draft law (Scenario 0) are supplemented with 2-3 alternatives. Scenario 0 and alternatives were all discussed by representatives from the National Assembly, Office of Government and stakeholders (ministries/line agencies, local governments and health authorities, public and private health providers, medical practitioners and patients). The discussion concentrated on the socioeconomic impacts on each target group, including both positive and negative influence. Information was compiled and analyzed to highlight advantages and workability of each option, as well as challenges and required conditions to choose the alternatives, if integrated in the law. In addition, the assessment also calculated the benefits and necessary costs for the alternatives to be materialized, albeit at a not very detailed level due to both time and input data limitations. 
The socioeconomic impact review of the Law on examination and treatment has been used together with the performance review of the Strategy for people’s health protection and care, and related legislation pertaining to medical care, to help the Ministry of Health, National Assembly, government and relevant ministries and line agencies to have the information and evidence needed for decision making on key areas of the law.

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