Vietnamese officials at the Joint Ministers of Finance and Health Symposium on Universal Health Coverage in Asia and the Pacific on September 17 (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Joint Ministers of Finance and Health Symposium on Universal Health Coverage in Asia and the Pacific, with the theme “ COVID-19 and Beyond”, was held online by the Asian Development Bank ( ADB ) in Hanoi on September 17 with the participation of various countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
ADB representatives hailed Vietnam’s success in dealing with COVID-19 and securing socio-economic development.
Along with stable macro-economic conditions and inflation under control, the consumer price index has fallen in recent months and the monetary market, credit and foreign exchange basically remained stable.
In his speech at the event, which focused on the financial mechanism applied in Vietnam to respond to COVID-19 amid lower State budget revenue, Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung said Vietnam has prioritised budget funds for preventive medicine.
It has spent at least 30 percent of its health care budget on preventive medicine each year, he said.
The minister underlined that, in Vietnam, the State budget covers most public health services, while those for health examinations and treatment are covered by compulsory health insurance. The primary healthcare fee is jointly paid by health insurance, the people, and the State budget, he said, adding that the country is speeding up the restructuring of the State healthcare budget to better care for people, especially those from ethnic minority groups or in mountainous regions, border areas, and islands.
The minister clarified that Vietnam has optimised all locally-available resources for fighting COVID-19. As early as the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the world, the Government directed ministries and sectors to build response plans, and ensure sufficient funding and human resources for preventive measures, quarantine, and treatment following the principle of four on-the-spot resources.
He stressed that Vietnam has persistently implemented the twin goals of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and removing difficulties for production and business, thus maintaining macro-economic stability, preventing disruption of socio-economic activities, reining in inflation, and ensuring social welfare.
Specifically, a 62-trillion VND package was launched to support people affected by COVID-19 along with reductions, exemptions, and payment extensions on fees and taxes, to ease difficulties for enterprises. Administrative procedures were also reformed, while the business environment has been improved.
At the same time, Vietnam also worked to ensure the supply of essential medical supplies and equipment. Import taxes on goods serving pandemic prevention were suspended.
The minister proposed that Health and Finance Ministries of other countries continue to support Vietnam in enhancing the capacity of preventive medicine, while sharing information and experience in treatment and vaccine research, helping the country promote sustainable growth./.
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