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LHSS Project Kicks Off Support for Vietnam’s National Health Insurance Program

A November 6, 2020, ceremony in Hanoi marked the formal start of the Abt-led USAID Local Health System Sustainability Project’s (LHSS) four-year effort to help the government of Vietnam implement its social health insurance program. The insurance program covers essential health services, including treatment services for people living with HIV, and will help advance access to universal health coverage in the country.

Working closely with the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) agency, LHSS will enhance VSS’s capacity to manage the insurance program funds effectively, efficiently, equitably, and with accountability. LHSS will also support Vietnam’s transition to full financial ownership of its HIV and tuberculosis responses.

“We value our close partnership with VSS and will continue our work together to strengthen the governance and financial management capacity of VSS,” USAID Vietnam Mission Director Ann Marie Yastishock said at the ceremony, where she and VSS Deputy General Director Dr. Pham Luong Son signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the LHSS assistance plan.

“The MOU signing reinforces USAID’s commitment to support Vietnam’s efforts in its journey to self-reliance towards achieving strong, sustainable health systems as a means to support access to universal health coverage,” Yastishock said.

LHSS assistance will focus on three key areas:

  1. Social health insurance policy implementation;
  2. The management of drugs and medical supplies provided through social health insurance; and
  3. The exchange of information on health insurance policies and the application of health technology and social health information systems.

The LHSS effort builds on USAID’s work in recent years to include coverage of HIV treatment services and antiretroviral drugs in Vietnam’s social health insurance scheme, and to integrate stand-alone HIV clinics into the national public health system. Over 90 percent of people with HIV in Vietnam are currently enrolled and using services through the social health insurance program.

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