Round Table discussion held on social security benefits and reform program

“We will release an exclusive report only after thoroughly researching the difficulties and delays encountered by employers’ associations as well workers’ associations”:


  • By Khin Yadanar
    Photo: May Oo Moe

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The MRTV broadcast a round table discussion as Part Three on social security benefits and the reform program. The panelists are U Maung Maung Aye, Director-General of Social Security Board, Daw Than Than Nu, Director of SSB, U Win Naing, Employers’ Representative, Daw Phyo Sandar Soe, Workers’ Representative, and Dr. Thein Than Htay, ILO National Project Coordinator.
Moderator: Please explain the reform plans of the Social Security Board.
Director-General: We have some challenges in our reform programs as I had earlier discussed, and at the moment, we are working on four reform programs.
Five tasks ahead
The first task is on IT reform and that we are planning to go ahead with social security system based on data and information.
All of the four reform programs are to be implemented with the technical support of the ILO, and the IT reform is to be carried out with the support of Korean Project.
Another plan is about advanced health care medical reform, being collaborated with ILO Luxemburg. Another plan is about administrative reform.
The SSB has five main functions, and all the working methods and procedures are lengthy, bulky and messy, and therefore, we are trying to simplify the steps.
We made many discussions on the matter with the experts of the ILO, and have decided that we would like to release an exclusive report only after making a proper research over the difficulties and delays encountering employers’ association as well as workers’ association.
Next, we plan to go on with the pilot projects through the branch offices at the township levels in the country. The last reform is the legal reform.
Although we have six categories of social security systems, only three systems are operational and the remaining three systems are yet to implement. We are studying the matters in detailed with the intention for making reform.
Doing reform according to law
In line with the New Year speech of the President, we are complying as his direction. The system under the social security program must be solid and firm for the benefits of the workers. Therefore, we are working for the reform of the system.
We also discussed on the coverage extension , and we have categorized (15) types of work establishments according to law, such as that of (5) workers and above.
When a claim of benefit is being delayed, we need to explore the reason and to address with solution in line with the standard and norm of international practices.
Filling up amendments
We have added information and technology with the intent to enable us to go on with the extension programs regarding the benefits of the workers; otherwise the process would be delayed.
The IT reform is underway with three year program, and that the study had begun in December 2016 with the ILO personnel.
The Terms of References (TOR) have been drafted and the document is under discussions within the relevant departments, where the necessary points were added and submitted the documents to the Union Minister and then forwarded to the Economic Committee of the Government. When the approval was being accorded, the invitation of tender is floated and called out.
The tender is spread out in proper way and with transparency according to the directive of the President’s Office. Regarding the technical reform, the first year is to carry out the data center, the cabling, and the construction of basic structure.
In the second year, the E-Banking and the E-Money are to be established.
The third year is earmarked for the task of the hospital management, and to hook up with all the hospitals in the country.
Currently, the tender matter is in the process which had started with the interest of (85) companies, and we received (14) proposals out of them, and there were four finalists. After scrutiny, we would be able to sign the contract and the implementation is likely to start in 2019. The reform is very much vital for all of us.
Another area is medical reform, which we are tackling with a three-pronged approach. As part of the reforms, workers will be offered treatment and medical services at our hospitals and clinics, and also outside private hospitals. This is in line with the international standards and norms prescribed by the ILO.
We need to go on with the PPS system and practice. A Prospective Payment System (PPS) is a method of reimbursement in which Medicare payment is made based on a predetermined fixed amount. It is to be managed through capitation payment, and the pilot projects are underway in Myeik Township, Myitkyina Township and Taunggyi Township.
Care Well Medical Product treatment and service is being introduced in Hlinethaya Township, Shwepyitha Township and Mingalardon Township, where study is being made how to apply in the settlement of health care costs. It would be coordinated with the ILO for final decision. And then we would further moved on.
Second Priority
The second priority is about the inpatients taking treatment at the social security hospitals, and that if and when necessary; we have to transfer the patients to government hospitals. Some workers may like it and some may not like it.
At that juncture, we are trying to sign with the private hospitals so that the workers would be able to transfer to the private medical facilities.
The last factor is about the upgrading of the clinics and hospitals under the social security board. We intend to do it through PPB designing system and that the remaining clinics and hospitals are to be streamlined into Internal Market Model.
Another plan is administrative reform in which we intend to reduce the complicated and messy methods and procedures in obtaining benefits by the workers. Some pilot projects would be carried out at Hlinethaya Township in Yangon Region and Pyigyidagon Township in Mandalay Region during the first quarter of 2019.
Reform of law is on the agenda as asked by the workers, and the necessary discussions would be made with the law experts from the ministry and the law sector for the greater good of the workers.
For raising awareness and communication strategy, we have sought advice and assistance from the ILO. In the knowledge dissemination programs, we are broadcasting through the Myanma Radio and Television to the public, and also other ways and means.
We are evaluating on the fact which method would be most effective. When the workers came to understand the procedures and way out, then the claim of benefits would be easier and also the steps in taking medical treatments at the hospitals and the clinics, and the workers would be comfortable.
To be continued.
Translated by UMT (Ahlon)

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