Viet Nam experienced COVID-19 differently from the rest of the world, although it has suffered from the social and economic impact of the global pandemic. The worldwide economic slowdown, combined with the confinement measures taken in-country, translated in Viet Nam into reduced opportunities for the working-age population, which still grows each year. In 2020, 32.1 million people nationwide aged 15 and over were negatively affected by COVID-19 with rising unemployment, fewer available working hours, less stable schedules and falling incomes.
Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on health insurance coverage
Job and income losses directly affect access to health insurance in Viet Nam while now, more than ever, the population needs access to quality care without risk of impoverishment. Therefore, staff from Viet Nam’s social security system and the P4H regional focal person in Viet Nam (contracted through the International Labour Organization) are collaborating to identify the COVID-19 pandemic’s current and future impacts on health insurance coverage. Their analysis aims to enable Viet Nam’s government to anticipate the risks the pandemic poses to membership in the national health insurance programme, to financial protection of the Vietnamese people and to the financial sustainability of Viet Nam’s health insurance scheme. Preliminary analysis is expected to inform the government’s COVID-19 policy for a stronger shock-responsive system and guide decision making in the framework of ongoing revisions to the Law on Health Insurance (to which P4H contributes).
Featured image on top: Marielle Phe Goursat, P4H regional focal person in Viet Nam, in a working session on social health protection in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, with Khang Nguyen, deputy director, International Cooperation Development, Viet Nam Social Security. © ILO/Dung Doan Thuy.