Vietnam is a developing country in Southeast Asia and the population is 91.7 million in 2015, of which 54 million people are working age, accounting for 58.8%. In 2015, the Law on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) was promulgated and went into effect from July 1, 2016. This legislative document is a legal basis for implementing better health care for workers in Vietnam. This paper reviewed achievements of better health care activities and challenges faced while implementing this OSH law
The health care system for workers has been well organised and coordinated by the health sector from the central to local levels. The legislative documents are almost completed to cover all health care activities for workers both in formal and informal sectors. There are several activities have been done to ensure better health care for workers. The working environment monitoring is regularly done in large enterprises. Number of workers under the annual health checkup was also increasing by year, increased by 1.7 times in 2011–2015 compared with 2006–2010 and by 7.2% in 2016 comparing with 2015. The number of workers under occupational disease examination was increased by 2.3 and 2.5 times, respectively in 2016 and 2015 in comparison with 2010. The model for prevention of common occupational diseases was implemented in enterprises of chemical, mining, construction industries, health care facilities and fishery. Many training courses on capacity building on working environment monitoring, occupational disease examination, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation were organised for OH staffs at provincial and district levels. OSH training courses were also conducted for employers, workers, OSH officers.
There are many difficulties and challenges faced by health sector in health care for workers, e.g. limited OSH human resources, limited provision of OH services to informal workers, SSEs and MSEs, traditional villages, agriculture, household business, etc. The only way in which OHS can be made accessible is to integrate it with general health care.