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

See all articles by Andre Pekerti

Andre Pekerti

University of Queensland

Quan Hoang Vuong

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management; Phenikaa University

Tung Ho

Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences - Institute of Philosophy; Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Students

Thu-Trang Vuong

Vuong & Associates; Sciences Po, Students

Date Written: September 5, 2017

Abstract

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

Pekerti, Andre and Vuong, Quan Hoang and Ho, Tung and Vuong, Thu-Trang, Health Care Payments in Vietnam: Patients’ Quagmire of Caring for Health Versus Economic Destitution (September 5, 2017). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1118; doi:10.3390/ijerph14101118, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3043026

Andre Pekerti

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Quan Hoang Vuong (Contact Author)

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management ( email )

ULB CP 145/01
21 Ave. F.D. Roosevelt
Brussels, Bruxelles 1050
Belgium
+32-2-6504864 (Phone)
+32-2-6504188 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ceb-ulb.com/vuong-quan-hoang.html

Phenikaa University ( email )

To Huu road, Yen Nghia
Ha Dong district
Hanoi, Hanoi 100803
Vietnam

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/vuongqh2019/

Tung Ho

Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences - Institute of Philosophy ( email )

1 Lieu Glai
Ba Dinh
Hanoi
Vietnam

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Students ( email )

Beppu
Japan

Thu-Trang Vuong

Vuong & Associates ( email )

3/161 Thinh Quang
Dong Da District
Hanoi, 100000
Vietnam

Sciences Po, Students ( email )

28 Rue des Saint-Peres
Paris, Paris 75006
France

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