Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has issued a regulation to provide financial support to poor patients, especially those who have fatal diseases but cannot afford treatment.
Disadvantaged patents to get Government support
Under the regulation, benefactors will include low-income people, ethnic minorities, those who live in remote and mountainous areas, and people who are currently receiving social assistance.
Coverage would also be extended to cancer patients, those who need cardiovascular surgery and other procedures such as kidney dialysis but cannot afford treatment.
Apart from medical fees, the Government will also provide financial assistance to patients to help cover their food and transportation costs during treatment.
Funding for the programme will come from the State budget as well as donations from individuals and organisations.
The assistance will be provided at state-owned medical facilities beginning on April 15, 2012.
Patients who wish to seek treatment independently, or whose need for treatment outstrips the capabilities of the medical centres where they live would not benefit.
Increase in hospital fees
The Ministries of Health and Finance has issued a joint circular to increase prices of 447 medical services at state-owned medical stations beginning April 15.
The new hospital fees represent a 30%-40% increase from current rates.