Health Care Payments in Vietnam: Patients’ Quagmire of Caring for Health Versus Economic Destitution
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1118; doi:10.3390/ijerph14101118
23 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 5, 2017
In the last three decades, many developing and middle-income nations’ health care systems have been financed via out-of-pocket payments by individuals. User fees charges, however, may not be the best approach or the most equitable approach to finance and/or reform health services in developing nations. This study investigates the status of Vietnam’s current health system as a result of implementing user fees policies. A recent mandate by the government to increase the universal cover to 100% attempts to tackle inadequate insurance cover, one of the four major factors contributing to the high and increasing probability of destitution for Vietnamese patients (the other three being: non-residency, long stay in a hospital, and a high cost of treatment). Empirical results, however, suggest that this may be catastrophic for low-income earners: if insurance cover reimbursement decreases below 50% of actual health expenditures, the probability of Vietnamese falling into destitution will rise further. Our findings provide policy implications and directions to improve Vietnam’s health care system, in particular by ensuring the utilization of health services and financial protection for the people.
Keywords: health care, user fees, place of residence, insurance cover, Vietnam
JEL Classification: I13, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation