Geneva , May 23 (VNA) – A Vietnamese health official has highlighted the country’s achievements in health care universalisation at the ongoing 65th General Assembly of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva , Switzerland .
Speaking at the session on May 22, Vietnamese Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Viet Tien said health care universalisation is a basic goal of Vietnam ’s health sector and was represented in the country’s socio-economic and medical development strategy and policy. According to Tien, over the past 50 years, many national target programmes on health have been carried out widely throughout the country, such as the expanded programme on immunisation, prevention of tuberculosis, malaria and malnutrition, and health care for mothers and children. Initial health care services have been provided for all people, including those in remote and mountainous areas, he said. Vietnam strives to spend at least 10 percent of the total budget on health care in the future, he added. However, Tien pointed out difficulties in reaching the health care universalisation goal, such as mountainous residents’ difficult access to medical services and the low quality of the services, especially those for mothers and children. Public investment for health care in Vietnam remains low and the universalisation of health insurances faces a lot of difficulties due to a limited State budget and people’s low income, he said. On the occasion, the Vietnamese health official thanked the WHO and other developmental partners for their financial and technical assistance for Vietnam . In addition, the Vietnamese delegation took part in a meeting of WHO member countries in the West Pacific region and presented a report on Vietnam ’s preparations for the next WHO meeting in October. The delegation also shared experience with Switzerland on issues relating to reproductive health. On the sidelines of the session, which will last until May 26, Deputy Minister Tien met with the heads of delegations from ASEAN countries and the Republic of Korea to boost cooperation in health care.