The search for health sector investment in 2013 is moving up on Vietnam’s agenda. According to minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, state investment into the health sector in 2013 will increase slightly from 4 to 5 per cent against 2012.
Meanwhile, the health sector aims to exercise thrift to set aside 10 per cent of concurrent expenses and 10 per cent of collections from businesses under Ministry of Health (MoH) management to cover additional payroll amounts pursuant to the government pay hike roadmap. In the face of finite capital sources versus rising demands for health checks from people, the MoH is contemplating a wide range of measures to appeal for capital from diverse economic sectors at home and abroad. Accordingly, in respect to social investment sources, the MoH envisages calling investors backing systems that improve people’s access to quality healthcare services. Projects such as a health sector university and satellite hospitals to bolster service quality are reportedly being planned by relevant government agencies. In the meantime, to further attract and boost efficiency of foreign direct investment (FDI) into health sector, several FDI projects have either kicked-off construction or confirmed capital disbursement commitments. These projects include the building of Hue Central Hospital’s trauma centre capitalised with $17 million from Austrian government investment; the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI)-funded project costing $47 million, and project on provincial-level hospital development funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) valued at $104 million, just to name a few. In a recent workshop hosted by the MoH in cooperation with the US Embassy, US Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear said the US would scale up support to Vietnam for implementation of public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the health sector. “In the near term, a PPP task force will soon be established to facilitate project implementation,” said Shear. Increasing visibility of private health facilities is also a viable option to attract capital into this field. “Non-state health system helps reduce load at public health facilities. However, these units need further training on legal aspect and increased supervision is important to make a timely detection of violations,” said director of Hanoi Health Department Nguyen Khac Hien.