Vietnam PM call for overhaul of social-security, welfare

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The Vietnamese prime minister has announced that the government will strive to expand health coverage, lower Vietnam's poverty rate and close the income gap over the course of the next decade.

In an article published on a government website on Wednesday, PM Nguyen Tan Dung said that guaranteeing social security and well-being is necessary to meeting development goals.

Thus, he wrote, social security will serve as the main thrust of Vietnam's ten year Socio-economic Development Strategy.

PM Dung said that Vietnam made "great strides" over the last ten years, particularly in poverty alleviation, job generation, insurance development, and public access to social services.

The rate of poor households dropped from 29 percent in 2002 to around 10 percent in 2010. More than 1.6 million new jobs were created every year, PM Dung wrote, and the unemployment rate in cities dropped from 6.42 percent in 2000 to around 4.6 percent in 2010, according to figures cited in the article.

The PM added that, although Vietnam has achieved a great deal, the nation's social safety net has suffered from poor management.

Going forward, Vietnam will strive to provide universal health insurance coverage for all people. Poverty must decline by 2-3 percent every year, and people's real income must rise to 3.5 times the 2010 rate.

To realize the goals, PM Dung said the country should develop a flexible, and stable social welfare system. This system should focus on poor people and vulnerable segments of society, especially disadvantaged children.

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