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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

VSS Deputy General Director Dr. Pham Luong Son and USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock signed the MOU, formalising that the USAID Local System Sustainability project will provide technical assistance to the VSS to improve its SHI during 2020-2024.

The project will also support Vietnam’s transition to full financial ownership of its HIV and tuberculosis responses.

USAID’s assistance to VSS will focus on three key areas, including SHI policy implementation; management of SHI drugs and medical supplies; and exchange of information on health insurance policies, application of health technology and social health information systems.

At the signing ceremony, VSS Deputy General Director Pham Luong Son emphasised the cooperation between VSS and USAID as an important premise upon which to open a new stage of cooperation between both sides, as it further promotes bilateral cooperation through a variety of forms of technical assistance in the field.

Son expressed his belief that USAID support would help VSS soon build a modern, sustainable and effective health insurance system based on people’s satisfaction, with the hope that by 2025, health insurance coverage would encompass 95% of the population and the satisfaction rate would reach over 80% as provided in targets assigned by the Government.

USAID Vietnam Director Marie Yastishock stated that her agency would continue to work alongside VSS to help strengthen its governance and financial management capacity to manage SHI funds effectively, efficiently, equitably, as well as with accountability.

The MOU signing reinforces USAID’s commitment to support Vietnam’s efforts in its journey to self-reliance and the achievement of a strong, sustainable health system as a means to support access to universal health coverage, Yastishock said.

Over the last five years, USAID has worked closely with Vietnamese Government agencies, including the VSS, to include coverage of HIV treatment services and antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in the SHI scheme. This considerable effort included updating over 20 policies to allow the expansion of SHI to cover HIV treatment and ARVs, and the transitioning of 440 stand-alone HIV clinics into the national public health system so they can be reimbursed for providing HIV services.

As a result, over 90% of persons living with HIV nationwide are now enrolled in and using SHI-covered HIV services, and this year, the organisation is set to procure ARVs for more than two-thirds of all HIV patients nationwide.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News