Hanoi gives health insurance support to HIV carriers

The Hanoi Department of Health will expand the health insurance coverage among poor people living with HIV/AIDS by giving them financial support sourced from the city’s health insurance fund, according to head of the department Nguyen Khac Hien.

(VNF) - The Hanoi Department of Health will expand the health insurance coverage among poor people living with HIV/AIDS by giving them financial support sourced from the city’s health insurance fund, according to head of the department Nguyen Khac Hien.

Head of the Hanoi Department of Health Hien said the department will make a list of beneficiaries who have not been supported by States’ budget and sent to the city’s Social Insurance soon.

Hanoi gives health insurance support to HIV carriers

Illu​strative image. (Source: Internet)

Statistics show that Hanoi is currently home to 18,500 people living with HIV/AIDS, including nearly 9,000 AIDS cases. The majorities of them have poor living conditions and need help in treatment.

Trinh Thi Le Tram, director of the Hanoi-based Centre for Law, Healthcare and HIV/AIDS Policies under the Vietnam Bar Association, said HIV/AIDS patients are usually poor, unemployed or have unstable incomes.

“They usually fail to afford health insurance cards, and they need significant medical care to treat opportunistic infections in addition to their anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment,” Tram said.

Despite the fact that under the Law on Health Insurance, poor households were granted free health insurance cards and near-poor households had to pay only half of health insurance fees, people with HIV/AIDS still struggled to gain health insurance coverage.

Those who left their hometowns to live in Hanoi also find it difficult to obtain insurance because only residents with permanent or temporary registration can apply for health insurance.

HIV/AIDS children born overseas to mothers who were trafficked or married foreigners could not apply for health insurance either because they did not have birth certificates.

In an effort to help all people living with HIV access health insurance as directed by the Prime Minister, the department has asked localities to strengthen communications to encourage HIV-infected people and their family join health insurance.

It has also tasked supporting funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and control to mobilize resources to purchase health insurance for the needy, while coordinating with the municipal Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control to ensure the supports go to right people.

Hanoi sets to expand health insurance coverage to 80 per cent of local population by 2016 and 90 per cent by 2020./.

( Compiled by VNF )

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