The Vietnam’s health system is oriented as a health insurance based system with the aim of enabling people to access to quality health care services when needed and at the same time create equity in health financing contribution. The Health Insurance Law has identified the goal of universal health insurance by 2014. With more than 70% of population living in rural areas, the expansion of health insurance (HI) in rural areas is key to reach to goal of universal health insurance. The project titled “Developing rural health insurance towards equity and sustainability to ensure health care for rural population” is implemented to provide evidence for developing HI policies for rural areas. Within this project, a number of interventions have been piloted in two districts of Hai Duong and Bac Giang provinces in 18 months. These interventions need evaluation to serve as grounds for making recommendations and providing information for policies makers in developing health insurance policies for rural areas.
The study is under the “cost-effectiveness analyses” component of the Project: “Providing scientific evidence for health policy making in Vietnam” (Project VINE). Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of mortality in the world and Vietnam. Tobacco smoking related morbidity and mortality cause severe losses to the health and economy to individuals and the whole society. The Government of Vietnam has issued the “National policy on tobacco control” in 2000-2010 period and drafted the Tobacco Control Law with the aim to reduce smoking rate and related losses to each individual, family and whole society. Which measure to select, which level of intervention and effectiveness are important questions that need highly reliable answers to help the Government develop effective tobacco control policies.
At present the private health sector is developing quickly and plays an important role in the health system. The Vietnam’s health system has been oriented to be a health insurance based system with the goal of universal health insurance by 2014. Mobilizing private health sector participating into health insured (HI) examination and treatment is one of the effective measures to carry out the above-mentioned goal. However to date there are only about 120 private health facilities signing HI examination and treatment contract. Meanwhile, overcrowding at public hospital remain a great challenge to the health sector, which is directly linked to HI examination and treatment. The Health Strategy and Policy Institute (HSPI) conducts a study on current situation assessment of private health facilities’ participating in health services delivery for HI card holders to learn about difficulties and obstacles to recommend policy and organization options to stepwise expand participation by private health facilities in HI examination and treatment contracting.
To continue creating changes in the sense of law respect and compliance through law propaganda, dissemination and education on 12 March 2008 the Prime Minister signed Decision 37/2008/QD-TTg to approve the Program on law dissemination and education in 2008-2012. To ensure effective implementation of Decision 37/2008/QD-TTg in the health sector, on 23 March 2010 the National Commission for Ideology and Propaganda (NCIP) and Ministry of Health (MOH) signed the “Program on cooperation to implement political missions and resolve sensitive and urgent issues in terms of ideology among staff and people in health care, protection and promotion”. The key contents of this program are to boost dissemination and education to raise awareness among leaders of Party committees at levels, government authorities, staff and people in health care, protection and promotion. MOH assigns the Health Strategy and Policy Institute (HSPI) to cooperate with the MOH Cabinet and Legislation Department to conduct the study “Evaluating current situation of resources and needs of training propaganda staff on policies in the health sector” at 77 units/institutions attached to MOH and 63 provincial health departments. The aim is to learn about current situation of resources and needs of training propaganda staff on policies in the health sector and thereby identify training needs for propaganda personnel.
The project on health care for Central Highlands people (Central Highlands Healthcare Project) is implemented in 5 Central Highlands provinces in 6 years, from 2004-2009 with the overall objective of improving health status and increasing accessibility to quality health care services, especially for the poor and ethnic minorities. One of the key output of the project is the Healthcare Fund for the Poor (HFP), which has been comprehensively and effectively supported. Costs analyses and impact assessment of project support components is essential to project assessment, in general and providing scientific evidence for managers and policy makers in expanding health care model for the poor in the future.