The country's Health Insurance Fund was expected to run a surplus of VND3.5 trillion (US$175 million) this year, said deputy general director of the Viet Nam Social Insurance Nguyen Minh Thao.
Thao said after a year of implementing the Law on Health Insurance, the fund's management and utilisation had seen positive changes.
In the years from 2005-09, the fund was overstretched and at the end of last year, it was in a deficit of VND3 trillion ($150 million).
He said around 53 million people bought health insurance cards this year, 8 million higher than before the issuance of the law, accounting for 62 per cent of the country's population.
The majority of health insurance card holders were poor people with incomes of less than VND400,000 ($20) per month, accounting for 13.5 million. They were followed by children under six years old with around 10 million.
Social Health Insurance statistics showed that nearly 106 million payments were made by the fund for health examinations and treatment, costing over VND19 trillion ($950 million).
The number of payments made by the fund increased by 16 per cent while spending was 25 per cent higher than last year.
It added that the fund also paid for expensive modern procedures and benefited people from remote and mountainous areas.
Patients were also able to receive healthcare services at hospitals that were not listed on their insurance certificates, and still receive payment from the fund. — VNS