Joint Annual Health Review

Overview

After 20 years of Doi Moi, including important reforms in the health sector, Viet Nam’s population now enjoys high life expectancy compared with other countries at a similar level of development, and indicators for many aspects of health status show continued improvement over time. Nevertheless, the country’s health sector is facing many new challenges in this period of rapid economic growth and epidemiological transition. In the dialogue between the Government and development partners, it is clear that a more coherent approach for providing assistance is needed, especially as Viet Nam transitions towards middle-income country status.


After 20 years of Doi Moi, including important reforms in the health sector, Viet Nam’s population now enjoys high life expectancy compared with other countries at a similar level of development, and indicators for many aspects of health status show continued improvement over time. Nevertheless, the country’s health sector is facing many new challenges in this period of rapid economic growth and epidemiological transition. In the dialogue between the Government and development partners, it is clear that a more coherent approach for providing assistance is needed, especially as Viet Nam transitions towards middle-income country status.

The Ministry of Health and development partners together have agreed that there is a need for an annual sector-review process that is open to all relevant stakeholders to jointly identify key problems and priorities in the health sector. In future years, that process will be used as an instrument to hold the health sector accountable for meeting the goals set out in annual plans and to facilitate aid coordination and effectiveness.

The Joint Annual Health Review is the process through which the Ministry of Health and Development Partners jointly assess progress and determine priorities in the health sector on an annual basis. As such it is, along with the Health Partnership Group (HPG), a forum for dialogue on key issues in sector development. The Department of Planning and Finance within the Ministry of Health is responsible for leading and implementing the JAHR process.

To date four JAHRs have been completed -- in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The JAHR 2007 comprehensively addressed the major segments of the Vietnamese health care system, including health status and health determinants, organization and management of the health system, health human resources, health financing, and provision of health services. The JAHR 2008 focused on health financing. JAHR 2009 addressed issues as related to human resources for health. JAHR 2010 is a platform for review health system before the threshold of 5-year health sector plan 2011-2015. JAHRs have been widely appreciated by the line agencies, international donors, local and international researchers and readers.