Is Health Insurance Associated with Health Service Utilization and Economic Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases on Households in Vietnam?
One of the fastest growing economies in Asia, Viet Nam began its transition to a socialist-oriented market economy in 1986, following political and economic reforms known as Doi Moi. Since then, Viet Nam has been transformed from one of the poorest countries in the world to a thriving lower middle-income country. GDP per capita steadily increased from $US 423 in 1986 to $US 2,715 in 2019, and remarkable progress in poverty reduction has been achieved. In tandem with sustained economic growth and substantial declines in poverty, vast progress has been made towards improving the health of the Vietnamese population over the past few decades, with health outcomes advancing alongside rising living standards and improved access to health services
Viet Nam enshrined the right to health protection for all citizens in its Constitution in 1980. In 2017, the central committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam set the objective to move towards the realization of universal health coverage and universal health insurance, and to guarantee equal rights and obligations of residents in participating in health insurance and enjoying health services. The Government has exceeded its 2020 target of 90.7 percent population coverage and the new Social Security 5-year plan 2021–2025 has since set the ambitious target to achieve 95 percent social health insurance (SHI) coverage by 2025.
Despite the achievement of this goal, and particularly in the context of the Covid-19 economic crisis, out of pocket (OOP) health spending keeps increasing and inequities and coverage gaps persist, particularly among near poor groups, self-paying households, internal migrants and workers in informal employment, who comprise a large share of the workforce in Viet Nam.