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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1118;

Health Care Payments in Vietnam: Patients’ Quagmire of Caring for Health versus Economic Destitution

Business School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
Centre for Interdisciplinary Social Research, Western University Hanoi (ĐH Thành Tây), Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
Centre Emile Bernheim, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Institute of Philosophy, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
Sciences Po Paris—Campus de Dijon, 21000 Dijon, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 25 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2232 KB, uploaded 25 September 2017]   |  


In the last three decades many developing and middle-income nations’ health care systems have been financed via out-of-pocket payments by individuals. User fees charges, however, may not be the best approach or thenmost equitable approach to finance and/or reform health services in developing nations. This study investigates the status of Vietnam’s current health system as a result of implementing user fees policies. A recent mandate by the government to increase the universal cover to 100% attempts to tackle inadequate insurance cover, one of the four major factors contributing to the high and increasing probability of destitution for Vietnamese patients (the other three being: non-residency, long stay in hospital, and high cost of treatment). Empirical results however suggest that this may be catastrophic for low-income earners: if insurance cover reimbursement decreases below 50% of actual health expenditures, the probability of Vietnamese falling into destitution will rise further. Our findings provide policy implications and directions to improve Vietnam’s health care system, in particular by ensuring the utilization of health services and financial protection for the people. View Full-Text
Keywords: health care; user fees; place of residence; insurance cover; Vietnam health care; user fees; place of residence; insurance cover; Vietnam

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Pekerti, A.; Vuong, Q.-H.; Ho, T.M.; Vuong, T.-T. Health Care Payments in Vietnam: Patients’ Quagmire of Caring for Health versus Economic Destitution. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1118.

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