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Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien speaks at the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam strengthens improving quality of healthcare service

Vietnam prioritises improving medical services at grassroots level

The Vietnamese Government prioritises resources to improve capacity of the grassroots-level clinics towards universal healthcare coverage and realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has said.

Attending the 72nd session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva o­n May 21, Tien said that in a bid to provide better healthcare services for all Vietnamese people, the Government has developed an ambitious action plan which aims to enhance capacity for more than 11,000 communal healthcare stations

Accordingly, all of the clinics will be operated in accordance with the principles of family medicine, focusing o­n health promotion, and earlier detection, treatment and control of non-communicable diseases.

Financial mechanism reforms, infrastructure investment and human resources training are the primary focus of initial healthcare amelioration, Tien said, adding that Vietnam has mobilised various financial resources to carry out its plan, including preferential loans and fund from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Union and many other partners.

The minister also described poor financial mechanism for initial healthcare and ineffective public-private partnership as challenges of the health sector.

Universal healthcare coverage and initial healthcare are the main contents of the World Health Assembly's 72nd session from May 20-28, drawing the participation of some 4,000 delegates from 194 member states of the WHO.

The Assembly plans to adopt a 2020-2021 budget totaling 4.8 billion USD to improve population's access to essential health services as well as better protect local people from health emergencies.

Impact of climate change o­n people's health, access to vaccination, and health of the immigrants will be o­n the table at the event.

As the decision-making body of WHO, the Assembly meets annually in May in Geneva to consider and determine the organisation?s orientation, financial policies, and upcoming agenda.

PPP investment model helps improve quality of healthcare service: experts

The public-private partnership (PPP) investment model is seen as an opportunity for hospitals to improve the quality of their service, thus attracting more patients, experts said o­n May 21.

Speaking at a conference o­n PPP investment for the health sector held in Ho Chi Minh City by the World Bank (WB) in Vietnam, Vice Director of the municipal Department of Health Tang Chi Thuong said the investment model will help improve capacity and professionalism for stronger development in hospitals.

Ramesh Govindaraj, a health expert from the WB, said the PPP investment form is popular in the health sector and is expanding across many countries worldwide, especially in infrastructure development and medical equipment supply.

Vietnam has 73 PPP projects in the health sector, but o­nly 15 of which have conducted prefeasibility study reports.

Experts said the implementation of the PPP for the health sector in Vietnam in general, and in HCM City in particular, is just at the level of exploration and not yet a large surge.

They attributed the situation to the lack of clear goals and strategies in implementing PPP projects and effective coordination among state agencies, as well as arising problems related to medical workers, service prices, health insurance, and medicine.

Nguyen Thanh Nguyen from HCM City Open University pointed out several of the obstacles facing the PPP investment form in Vietnam, saying that the State?s regulations related to the form are not clear, making investors hesitant as they are unsure whether their investment is profitable or not.

As such, it is necessary to develop pilot models and adjust legal regulations in this field, he stressed.




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