Most of them are beneficiaries of free health insurance cards. The Dak Lak administration is strengthening communications to help local residents understand the benefits of medical insurance and increase the ratio of people buying insurance voluntarily.
Ede ethnic elder Ee H Nhan of Cuor Dang A hamlet, has bought a health insurance card due to his advancing age and his children living far away. Last year, he underwent surgery on a tumor at Dak Lak Provincial General Hospital and was covered 80% of the treatment fee thanks to the health insurance.
Elder Ee H Nhan said, “I find health insurance very useful. It can save me a great deal of expense if I unfortunately fall sick.”
But not all families in Dak Lak have been aware of the importance of health insurance. Ms. H Janh Nie, an Ede ethnic resident who lives in the same hamlet, is an example. Though the main bread winner of the family, she hadn’t purchased health insurance until she got into health troubles.
Ms. H Janh Nie recalled: “In 2006, we already bought health insurance cards but didn’t use them at all. Whenever we got sick, we went for medical examinations at private clinics. Now I feel regret. When I was pregnant with the youngest son and faced a difficult birth, I was hospitalized for emergency aid. Without health insurance, I had to pay 11 million Vietnamese dong, or more than US$480.”
Cuor Dang village has 11,000 inhabitants but only 46% of the population has participated in health insurance. The village’s health center has enhanced communications to increase the percentage of people joining.
H Di Nie Kdam, deputy head of Cuor Dang village’s health center, said, “We have persuaded locals, especially mothers to help them better understand health insurance benefits because medical service costs and medicine prices are increasing.”
Nguyen Thi Xuan, deputy director of Dak Lak provincial Social Insurance, said although the number of people signing up for health insurance has increased year on year, the ratio remains low, especially among the group of voluntary insurance buyers including students and households.
“In the future, the cost of medical services will grow. People with health insurance cards will be paid by the health insurance fund. Communication is very important. To what extent do people know about health insurance policy plays a key role in helping the public be aware of insurance benefits. Health insurance is a lifebuoy for patients,” said Xuan.