National Assembly Debates Social Security Card Use

Mr. Thanongsith Mueangchan at the government meeting | (Photo: Laophatt)ana

A National Assembly constituent has proposed that the country’s social security scheme allow members receive treatment at any hospital in the country, rather than being limited to just one.

Mr. Thanongsit Meuangchan, Constituent for Area One in Vientiane Capital, said during the ongoing National Assembly session that many workers have now been enrolled in the National Social Security Fund. However, not all hospitals accept social security cards, he said, with members being forced to visit the hospital chosen under their membership.

He compared this to an ATM card, which can be used at any ATM machine.

Mr. Thanongsit added that although during emergencies members may use their social security card at any hospital, the paperwork procedure is extremely complicated and time-consuming, and therefore the government should take action to work on the issue in order to ease the usage of insurance cards.

According to the Lao social security organization, social security is a guarantee that the insured will receive a subsidy from the National Social Security Fund in the event of medical care, abortion or miscarriage, work-related accidents, occupational diseases, labor loss, disability, work-related illness, retirement, death, family support, and unemployment.

Health care subsidy funds are used to pay for health care services for the insured, spouse, or children of the individual in the event of sickness, in accordance with a contract with a health service institution.

Following his suggestion about the social insurance scheme, Mr. Thanongsit brought up the poorly maintained and disorganized electricity poles and cables that are littered across the country, as well as overloaded trucks that damage the city’s roads.