Articles
Liability insurance will be soon required for medical examination and treatment in Vietnam

30 - 01 - 2012
By Nguyen Chi Trung*

In order to deal with the risks in medical examination and treatment in the country, on 14 November 2011, the Government of Vietnam issued Decree No. 102/2011/ND-CP on liability insurance for medical examination and treatment establishments ("Decree 102"). Decree 102 takes effect from 1 January 2012.

Decree 102 applies to (i) medical examination and treatment establishment(s) licensed to operate in Vietnam ("METE"), (ii) insurer(s) licensed for liability insurance in accordance with the laws of Vietnam ("insurer"), and (iii) individuals and organizations involved.

Under Decree 102, liability insurance coverage is required for medical complications occurring during medical examination and treatment due to technical and professional errors caused by negligence or carelessness of practitioners at METEs. The level of insurance for each claim is determined by the total amount of money an insurer has to pay out within the total level of insurance liability for METEs agreed in the insurance contract.

Of noted, Decree 102 enables an insurer and an METE to agree on insurance premiums and the level of insurance liability based on the METE's risk assessment and related factors.

An insurer is liable to pay compensation to an METE if the following conditions are all met: (i) a complaint is sent to the METE by a patient or his/her legal representative; (ii) the medical complications which occurred fall under the scope and level of insurance liability; and (iii) the medical complications occurred within the effective period of the insurance contract, unless otherwise agreed by the insurer and the METE.

In addition, Decree 102 provides that the METE is liable for directly compensating the patient or his/her legal representative. The METE can then file a claim to the insurer and if the claim is valid under the insurance contract, the insurer has 15 days upon receipt to pay compensation to the METE. In the event that the METE's operation is suspended or the METE's operation license is revoked by the competent State authority, the insurer is obliged to directly compensate the patient or his/her legal representative.

Insurance premiums are to be paid: (i) for a non-public METE by the METE itself; and (ii) for a public METE from the public METE's business revenue or from the State budget if revenue is insufficient.

The government has set out a specific schedule for compliance with the insurance requirement. METEs have to purchase liability insurance: (i) no later than 31 December 2015 for hospitals including general hospitals, specialized hospitals, traditional medicine hospitals; and (ii) no later than 31 December 2017 for other organizational types of METEs including medical assessment establishments, clinics, maternity homes, diagnosis establishments, health service establishments, commune-level health centers and equivalent organizational types.

(*) Please contact the authors at trung.nguyen@indochinecounsel.com or our partners if you wish to have more information or specific advice for the topic of this article.

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