Dialysis copay reduced for poor insured patients in HCMC

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Poor insured patients with kidney failure in Ho Chi Minh City will only have to pay 5 percent of the usual fees for dialysis from this month onwards instead of the currently regulated 20 percent.

The other 15 percent would be paid for by the city budget, according to a recent dispatch sent by HCMC Department of Health to local hospitals.

As the decision by the city's People's Committee takes effect from March 1, hospitals should refund patients who'd paid 20 percent since then, the department said in the statement.

The municipal authorities made the move after recent news reports that many poor patients quit having periodical dialysis because they couldn't afford the new fees, between VND2.6-3.2 million (US$136-167) a month.

The new health insurance law that took effect since last October after the National Assembly approved it requires all insured patients, except for children under six and those who've contributed to the revolutionary cause, to pay between 5 and 20 percent of the usual fees.

It was argued that this part payment would deter people from overusing hospital services.

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