Medical clinics in communes are the grassroots of the health sector; however, medical quality in some places has not met people’s treatment demand, reported Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien at a meeting “Moving toward nationwide healthcare coverage in Vietnam”.
The meeting was held yesterday by the Ministry of Health, The World Health Organization and EU in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and more than 300 international and Vietnamese delegators.
The country has 11,000 medical facilities in communes; 622 hospitals in districts with total 68,959 beds and 651 general facilities with 6,752 beds. Primary healthcare services have provided treatment to all inhabitants including residents in mountainous, border crossings and islands.
This is recognized and appraised by international organizations as a good point in carrying out the millennium goals in developing medicine, said Ms. Tien.
However, there have been shortcomings and challenges in attracting good physicians to work in facilities in distant regions and medical clinics in communes are not well-equipped; consequently, people flocked to big hospitals causing the overloading in hospitals. In addition, the health sector has neglected investment in primary healthcare services in families.
Chief Representative of the World Health Organization in Vietnam Takeshi Kasai said at the meeting that the average life-span of Vietnamese people will increase by 8 years since 1980. An old person usually has chronic diseases but medical workers in facilities in communes are unable to treat chronic disease.
Delegators discussed and proposed feasible measures to improve personnel, financial policies, facilities and how to attract more good doctors work in medical hospitals in communes in a bid to increase primary healthcare moving to universal coverage in Vietnam.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy PM Dam asked the Ministry to continue working out a project for planning a better medical clinics in communes in which verifies the role of these clinics and the relation between public healthcare network and family doctor network; technique services in commune clinics as well as training more medical workers for commune facilities along with policies to draw attention of good doctors to distant clinics.