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Hospital fees continue rising this year

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The Ministry of Health and Vietnam Social Security last month met several times over healthcare fee hikes and decided fees for some services would inch up, according to the ministry.

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An infant is vaccinated at a hospital in HCMC 

According to this year’s plan, wages of health workers in 14 localities were partially added to healthcare service fees for the non-insured in quarter one, causing the consumer price index (CPI) to go up 1.32% against the same quarter last year and 0.09% against last December.

As from this July, fees for some hospital fees and wages of health workers will be adjusted up.

New fees are expected to be 5-8% higher than the current levels, contributing 0.41% to the CPI. Therefore, if consumer prices pick up significantly this year, hospital fees would be revised up late this year or early next year.

According to the ministry, higher healthcare fees will impact on the health insurance fund as the fund may see an increase of VND3-4 trillion per year in spending.

Spending increases will be insignificant if revisions are made in multiple phases, drug price management is improved and hospital bed days are recalculated.

With an aim to have some service fees being 70-80% of the existing ones, phase one of the Health Ministry’s road map includes the complete revision of Circular 37 this May to guide service fee payments and consideration of adjustment of certain service fees. 

In phase two, the Ministries of Health and Finance and Vietnam Social Security will draw on experiences from other countries to re-arrange some services and set fees of 2,000-3,000 services, and consult foreign countries to determine inpatient treatment days.

They are surveying medical checkup capacity and that of other services to calculate and revise fees accordingly.

According to the health ministry, as health insurance payments are not yet adjusted, healthcare fees will be revised in a way that facilitates efficient management and use of the health insurance fund.

Overspending of the health insurance fund, as the health ministry pointed out, has resulted from low insurance payments.

Source: VietNamNet

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