return icon

Health insurance coverage for ARV drug key to HIV treatment

Vietnam's health insurance fund started covering HIV patients for anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs in March this year after international donors ended their sponsorship. 


Lê Văn Phúc, head of the pharmacy and medical supply department at Việt Nam Social Security talks to Thời Báo Kinh Tế Việt Nam (Việt Nam Economic Times).


A HIV patient receives antiretroviral (ARV) covered by health insurance fund at Hà Nội's Nam Từ Liêm District healthcare centre.



What has been prepared to ensure health insurance coverage for HIV treatment expenses?

The health insurance fund along with other State budget sources have been contributing to ensuring HIV drug supplies.

The health insurance fund has so far covered HIV opportunistic infections and other testing for HIV patients who hold health insurance cards.

It is estimated that by the end of this year, about 48,000 HIV patients who hold health insurance cards will have their ARV drug covered by the fund.

The rest of the patients will be covered by 2020.

Việt Nam Social Security (VSS) has worked with the health ministry to sign healthcare contracts with HIV treatment facilities and set up a database to manage patients who are on ARV.

The VSS and the health ministry also provide ARV drugs to HIV treatment facilities.

The health insurance fund covers a first-class ARV treatment regimen.

It is estimated that more than VNĐ600 billion (US$25.5 million) is needed to provide treatment for more than 100,000 HIV/AIDS patients. What solutions should be taken to ensure health insurance coverage for them?

It is estimated to cost VNĐ6 million ($255) per year to provide healthcare check-ups and treatment for each HIV patient.

We need solutions to ensure the fund is capable of covering health insurance card holders including HIV patients.

We need to step up management on using the insurance fund in an effective way.

Quality and prices of drugs, management and use must be ensured.

We should make plans to adjust health insurance premiums and taxes on alcohol and cigarettes to contribute to the health insurance fund.

How are you planning to convince more HIV patients to sign up for the health insurance programme in order to ensure better treatment for them?

Việt Nam is now the only country mobilising domestic sources for HIV/AIDS treatment.

The VSS and the health ministry have created the most favourable conditions for HIV patients to access health insurance.

The number of HIV patients who hold health insurance card holders has increased. The coverage rate for HIV patients in many localities has reached 100 per cent.

However, the health insurance coverage rate in some localities remains low because patients are afraid of being discriminated against and do not want to reveal their personal information.

The VSS and the health ministry will step up communication campaigns on HIV and ARV patients to share the importance of health insurance.

We expect authorities will continue to improve HIV treatment service quality and create a friendly environment for HIV carriers by changing medical staff’s attitudes towards patients as well as their consultation and communication skills. VNS



Government issues details on aid for ethnic minority housing, land reclamation

GDP growth of 3.32% in Q1 nears lowest level in 13 years

Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.32% in the first quarter of the year, higher only than the growth rate of 3.21% recorded in the first quarter of 2020 in the 2011 to 2023 period, according to the General Statistics Office.

Four Japanese banks to provide US$300 million for Vietnamese renewable energy

Four Japanese banks are set to co-finance a total of US$300 million to provide credit lines to power producers using renewable energy in the nation as part of efforts to help the growing country in its decarbonising process.

15 short stories by Vietnamese writer published in RoK

A collection of 15 short stories written by local author Nguyen Huy Thiep were introduced to Korean readers by Wisdom Publishing House in March.

Hanoi’s ancient pagoda in the red-silk cotton tree season

In March, red-silk cotton trees bloom, showing off their beauty at the thousand-year-old Thay Pagoda in Quoc Oai district in Hanoi.

VN Government calls for broad-based measures to help realty sector

The Vietnamese Government has recently urged ministries to take measures to help the realty sector get back on track and sustain its healthy growth.

EC drops health certificates requirement for Vietnamese noodles

The European Commission (EC) has recommended removing Vietnamese rice noodle and vermicelli brands from conditions that require health certificates and 20 per cent random testing at the port of entry.

Ministry of Industry and Trade proposes draft on cross-border trade

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) is seeking public comments on a legal draft amending Decree No14 on cross-border commercial activities.

Leaders of aviation firms to be disciplined if employees committed wrongdoings

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has just released directive 1480, on enhancing smuggling and commercial fraud prevention among aviation employees.

Golden tourism route links six destinations of Vietnam, China

A golden tourism route connecting six destinations of Vietnam and China was launched in Hanoi on March 28, expected to help the two countries enhance cross-border tourism links.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister holds online talks with Chinese counterpart

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son held online talks with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on March 28, during which they agreed to intensify all-level exchanges.

Vietnam International Travel Mart 2023 to spotlight cultural tourism

The Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) themed “Cultural tourism” will take place on April 13-16 at the Cultural Friendship Palace in Hanoi, featuring 450 pavilions from over 50 localities nationwide, and 15 countries.

Vietnam, ILO sign decent work country programme for 2022 - 2026

The Decent Work Country Programme Vietnam 2022 - 2026 was signed between representatives of the Vietnamese Government, workers, and employers and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Hanoi on March 28.

Vietnam vows to control cross ownership in banks

The tightening of control over cross ownership aims to stop crises at banks.

Largest French cuisine festival in Vietnam comes to Hanoi in April

The largest French cuisine festival in Vietnam “Balade en France” (Walk in France) will return to Hanoi on April 14-16, following the success of the 2018 and 2020 editions, the French Embassy announced on March 28.