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The evolution of social health insurance in Vietnam and its role towards achieving universal health coverage


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Le, NQ, Blizzard, L ORCID: 0000-0002-9541-6943, Si, L ORCID: 0000-0002-3044-170X, Giang, LT and Neil, AL ORCID: 0000-0002-1344-6672 2020 , 'The evolution of social health insurance in Vietnam and its role towards achieving universal health coverage' , Health Policy Open, vol. 1 , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.1016/j.hpopen.2020.100011.

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Our research examines the development of social health insurance (SHI) in Vietnam between 1992 and 2016 and SHI's role as a financial mechanism towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC). We reviewed and analysed legislation from the Government of Vietnam (GoV) and performance data from the GoV and the World Bank. Stages of development were identified from legislative change leading to change in SHI functioning as a public financing mechanism: revenue collection, pooling of risk, and purchasing. Movement towards UHC was assessed relative to: population coverage, benefit coverage, and financial protection. Vietnam has implemented SHI through five stages: Stage I (1992–1998), Stage II (1998–2005), Stage III (2005–2008), Stage IV (2008–2014), and Stage V (2014 onwards). Coverage has widened from a compulsory scheme for civil servants and pensioners and a voluntary scheme for others, to a scheme that targets the entire population. However, UHC has not been achieved with 19% of the population uninsured in 2016 and high out-of-pocket payments. The benefit package includes a wide range of services and many expensive medications and considered to be generous. It is recommended that Vietnam focus on improving population coverage rather than further expanding the benefit package to achieve UHC.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Le, NQ and Blizzard, L and Si, L and Giang, LT and Neil, AL
Keywords: universal health care, social health insurance, Vietnam
Journal or Publication Title: Health Policy Open
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 2590-2296
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.hpopen.2020.100011
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 the authors, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license (

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