The EU-MOH-WHO funded project aimed to improve the capacity of health insurance staff in Vientiane Province including two districts: Phonehong and Vangvieng. Thanks to the project we could implement many activities which facilitate the management and the operation of the health insurance schemes. The project supported the refurbishment of our provincial office and provided necessary equipment including furniture, computers and internet access.
Our staff from the Provincial Health Insurance Bureau, staff from the Health Insurance Bureau in the two target districts and staff from health facilities were trained on the concepts of health insurance and the management of health insurance schemes. Specific training on very practical aspects of health insurance management such as the use of the electronic reporting system on service utilisation by insured members, calculation of premiums, and processing of claims were very useful.
We also had discussions on the mandate of the Provincial Health Insurance Bureau. The revision of the mandate made the roles and responsibilities of our staff very clear and allowed us to work more efficiently. The project also provided financial support for organizing the quarterly meetings of the health insurance management committee at provincial and district levels. The meetings are very useful to discuss the progress and bottlenecks of the implementation of health insurance schemes with all stakeholders including the provincial and district vice-governors, the heads of the health departments and representatives from hospitals.
During the three years of this project, and as a result of capacity building for all staff, the management of health insurance has improved a lot. Staff who have been trained are able to manage implementation and reporting in a timely manner and are also able to coach newly recruited staff. They understand the issues and difficulties related to the implementation of health insurance schemes and are well prepared to carry out the roll out of the new integrated National Health Insurance scheme which has been launched in September 2017 in Vientiane Province.