July 26, 2008
HA NOI — National Assembly Standing Committee members discussed Viet Nam’s legal issues in joining the Hague Convention on inter-country adoption yesterday.
In 1993, 64 countries, including Viet Nam, approved the convention. The number of countries participating to the convention has now increased to 75.
Chairman of the NA’s Law Committee Nguyen Van Thuan asked deputies to identify why, from 1994 until now, the Government had not asked the National Assembly to ratify the convention.
Deputy Minister of Justice Hoang The Lien answered that, at that time, Viet Nam’s regulations on adopting children were different compared to regulations of the convention.
Also, Viet Nam still did not have a specific agency to manage international adoption.
Therefore, the Ministry of Justice had not asked the Government to ratify the convention.
The ministry suggested that the country establish a specific office to implement the convention, which would be responsible to the State for protecting children given up for adoption in foreign countries.
In 2003, Viet Nam established the Department for Inter-country Adoption under the Ministry of Justice. Viet Nam has also signed co-operation agreements on adoption with 10 countries since 2000..
Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Social Affairs, Truong Thi Mai, asked why Viet Nam did not regulate the establishment of charity and non-profitable organisations dealing with adoption.
Deputy Minister Lien replied that the Government would allow the Ministry of Justice to co-ordinate with other ministries to consider the permission of charity and non-profitable organisations dealing with adoption in Viet Nam.
Most National Assembly deputies said that participation in the Hague Convention would create an international, multilateral legal corridor that would be stable in the long-term to protect children given up for adoption abroad, and boost co-operation with othersignatory countries.
Many members of the National Assembly Standing Committee also expressed concern about definitions that were too broad under the draft Health Insurance Law.
Le Quang Binh, head of the National Assembly Committee on National Defence and Security, and Nguyen Van Thuan, head of the Law Committee, agreed that regulations on health insurance should clarify groups of beneficiaries to ensure that people could not hold two or three health insurance cards at once.
Some other members said that the law should include "households near the poverty level" for groups receiving 100 per cent health insurance subsidies by the State.
Instead, they suggested that the group be clarified as "people of poor households, of ethnic minority origins, who live in difficult and extremely difficult areas."
All members agreed with the regulation that patients and their employers should jointly pay for health care fees to reduce unnecessary fees and avoid the present problem of abusing health insurance.
Thuan suggested the law should clarify the specific formulas of join-payment to ensure fairness and equality between patients and State management agencies.
He said that patients themselves could not control check-up and treatment fees. Only the joint-efforts of patients and their employers could help save the budget, he said.
According to Phung Quoc Hien, head of the NA Committee on Finance and Budget, a flat-rate maximum premium of 6 per cent of a person’s salary was not adequate. The law should define premiums proportional to salary levels instead.
He further said that many offices do not clarify employee salary levels, only monthly income, which was difficult to apply to premiums.
The law should define clearly the premium levels that people have to pay, he said.
Some members also asked the State to support farmers in buying health insurance. The law should also clarify that farmers with average living standards would receive 30 per cent of the premium from the State.
Concerning auditing the health insurance fund, some members suggested that the State audit the fund at least once a year instead of once every three years.
All members agreed with the Government’s report that health insurance was the only form of social insurance offered by the State which was not for profit. — VNS