Global Newsletter

What are the fundamental differences in health insurance systems between Vietnam and Japan?


Vietnam has over 97.6 million people as of December 2nd, 2020 and is the world’s 15th most populous country. Vietnam is one of the countries that has fast-aging societies in Asia,
with an increasing demand for quality healthcare services in the near future. The Vietnamese government has recently increased efforts in improving Vietnam’s healthcare infrastructure and health insurance system. As of 2020, it is estimated that 90% of the Vietnamese population (86 million) is fully or partially covered by public healthcare insurance.

The benefits in kind system is described in Japanese as “ (現物給付)”

The crucial differences between Japan’s health insurance system and Vietnam’s health insurance system

The Vietnam healthcare system has a mixture of public and private healthcare facilities. Public hospitals in Vietnam are categorized into 4 levels: central level, provincial level, district level and commune level. Additionally, Vietnam also has a large number of private hospitals, mostly located in urban areas to reduce overcrowding in public hospitals.
The health insurance system of Vietnam operates as a “benefits in kind system” which is similar to the health insurance system of Japan, whereby the patient will pay a portion of the medical treatment and examination fee while the national health insurance organization will pay the remainder to the medical facilities. Although Vietnam and Japan have similar concepts in health insurance, Vietnam still has some key differences in comparison to Japan as described in the summary table below.

A summary comparison of the 2 countries is shown below:

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