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Vietnamese cope with EET, face health insurance problem

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Prague, June 15 (CTK) – The introduction of e-registration of sales (EET) caused no big problems to Vietnamese in the Czech Republic last year, but the minority faced problems with insufficient health insurance of its members, according to an annual report the cabinet approved on Wednesday.

Hanoi’s effort to control Vietnamese groups in the Czech Republic intensified in 2016, says the report completed by the government Council for Ethnic Minorities, which cites a representative of the Vietnamese community.

Vietnamese are the third strongest foreign minority in the country, after Slovaks and Ukrainians.

A total of 58,080 of them lived in the 10.5-million Czech Republic as of the end of 2016, including 48,571 with a permanent residence permit.

Almost 1,000 ethnic Vietnamese acquired Czech citizenship from 2010 to 2015, the report writes.

At the end of this April, the Interior Ministry registered 58,792 Vietnamese inhabitants, who made up 12 percent of all foreigners in the country. Over 80 percent of them were permanent residents.

Huu Uyen Pham, the Vietnamese community’s representative in the government Council for Ethnic Minorities, said the second generation of local Vietnamese is trying to “step out of the shadow” of their parents, become more visible and present the community in a better light.

Young Vietnamese gain posts in business firms as well as state institutions, he said.

He said the community had felt apprehensions of last year’s start of the gradual introduction of EET, which, however, has not caused any big problems to it so far, though the first EET wave applies to catering and accommodation operators and involves only a minor part of Vietnamese entrepreneurs.

The community, nevertheless, faced considerable problems with health insurance, Huu Uyen Pham said.

Since foreigners enjoy public health insurance only on certain restricted conditions, most of them have to pay commercial health insurance.

“There is a high number of Vietnamese who paid the minimum insurance in order to comply with the law. If they fall ill, their insurance covers the medical treatment only partially, and they have no income to cover their cost of living,” Huu Uyen Pham said.

He said the community has solved such problems by collecting money for those ill to survive or return to Vietnam, but such practice is untenable for a long time.

An Association of Vietnamese in Europe was established last autumn and officially registered in the Czech Republic where it has headquarters, the report says.

According to it, the association is a result of the Vietnamese government’s plan to integrate Czech Vietnamese groups “in its structures” within its effort to control Vietnamese communities abroad. In this respect, Hanoi has chosen the Czech Republic as a centre for Europe, the report says.

Huu Uyen Pham said “psychological repression” against those who want to remain independent has been rising.

Some Czech Vietnamese have been denied entry to Vietnam and other Vietnamese activists were summoned for interrogation during their visit to Vietnam, he said.

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