Healthcare centres for emergency aid and treatment of common diseases will be built this year in coastal provinces to ensure the success of the Vietnam Sea and Island Health Development plan to 2020, which was launched last year.
The Ministry of Health said it would offer guidance to authorities on construction of the centres.
The centres will be located at the Vietnam National Institute of Maritime Medicine in Hai Phong, the Military Hospital No. 4 in Nghe An province, the C Hospital in Da Nang, the Military Hospital No. 87 in Khanh Hoa, the Vietsovpetro Hospital in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province and the Military Hospital No. 78 on Kien Giang province's Phu Quoc Island.
This year, the Ministry will also co-operate with the Ministry of National Defence, National Committee for Search and Rescue and Kien Giang province People's Committee to build a training centre for emergency aid at Military Hospital No.78 on Phu Quoc Island.
At a conference on the Vietnam Sea and Island Health Development plan held last week, Deputy Minister of Health Pham Le Tuan asked authorities in Hai Phong city, Da Nang city, Khanh Hoa province and Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to work with local search and rescue centres to upgrade 115 emergency aid centres.
Tuan also asked coastal provinces and cities to assess their human-resources need for the health centres.
The ministry has assigned the Hue and Ho Chi Minh City universities of medicine and pharmacy to carry out a training programme on sea healthcare.
Although health facilities on islands last year offered five emergency flights to the mainland, and performed surgery on 700 patients, health care on islands still faces challenges, particularly in human resources.
The islands still lack equipment for emergency aid and means of transport for patients from islands to the mainland.
For example, the Health Department in Binh Thuan province said the shortage of equipment had created barriers in providing good health care to residents in coastal localities.
Moreover, most health care staff lack professional knowledge about sea-health issues, and health policies related to island and coastal residents and soldiers have become outdated.