eCite Digital Repository

The evolution of social health insurance in Vietnam and its role towards achieving universal health coverage


Le, NQ and Blizzard, L and Si, L and Giang, LT and Neil, AL, The evolution of social health insurance in Vietnam and its role towards achieving universal health coverage, Health Policy Open, 1 Article 100011. ISSN 2590-2296 (2020) [Refereed Article]

PDF (Published version)

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 the authors, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.hpopen.2020.100011


Our research examines the development of social health insurance (SHI) in Vietnam between 1992 and 2016 and SHI's role as a financial mechanism towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC). We reviewed and analysed legislation from the Government of Vietnam (GoV) and performance data from the GoV and the World Bank. Stages of development were identified from legislative change leading to change in SHI functioning as a public financing mechanism: revenue collection, pooling of risk, and purchasing. Movement towards UHC was assessed relative to: population coverage, benefit coverage, and financial protection. Vietnam has implemented SHI through five stages: Stage I (19921998), Stage II (19982005), Stage III (20052008), Stage IV (20082014), and Stage V (2014 onwards). Coverage has widened from a compulsory scheme for civil servants and pensioners and a voluntary scheme for others, to a scheme that targets the entire population. However, UHC has not been achieved with 19% of the population uninsured in 2016 and high out-of-pocket payments. The benefit package includes a wide range of services and many expensive medications and considered to be generous. It is recommended that Vietnam focus on improving population coverage rather than further expanding the benefit package to achieve UHC.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:universal health care, social health insurance, Vietnam
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health systems
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health policy evaluation
UTAS Author:Le, NQ (Ms Quynh Le)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, L (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
UTAS Author:Si, L (Mr Lei Si)
UTAS Author:Giang, LT (Associate Professor Long Giang)
UTAS Author:Neil, AL (Associate Professor Amanda Neil)
ID Code:145117
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-07-01
Last Modified:2021-11-24
Downloads:25 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page