Ministry project to train rural doctors achieves mixed results

The efforts of doctors from Ho Chi Minh City hospitals to train rural medical personnel a few months ago as part of a Ministry of Health initiative to ease the pressure on city hospitals has fallen short of expectations.

Dr. Le Hoang Minh, director of the Tumors Hospital in the city’s Binh Thanh District, said his doctors performed surgeries at the Khanh Hoa Province General Hospital while local doctors assisted them.

In three months operations were done on 10 cancer patients, Dr. Minh said, adding the doctors there cannot start doing surgeries by watching for a few months but need to practice under instruction for at least six months.

Dr. Ly Ngoc Kinh, head of the Ministry of Health’s Treatment Management Department, said doctors working in urban hospitals have done stints at 57 commune clinics nationwide

Dr. Tran Thanh My, director of the Trauma and Orthopedics Hospital, said his doctors could not be of much help in Binh Phu District in the southern province of Binh Phuoc because of a serious shortage of medical equipment and personnel there.

The visiting surgeons had to settle for instructing personnel on how to take x-rays and other simple techniques.

Dr. Ly Ngoc Kinh, head of the Ministry of Health’s Treatment Management Department, said around 650 doctors working in urban hospitals have done stints at 57 commune clinics nationwide.

Around 6,000 patients received medical checks and 247 surgeries, according to Government statistics. Besides, 95 cases, normally transferred to city hospitals, were not.

But some experts said the 95 patients were made to wait for the arrival junior of doctors from large cities.

Many urban hospital chiefs said they support the project but the ministry ought to provide proper medical equipment, higher salaries, and training to doctors in remote areas.

Related article:
Medical Staff Take Turns to Serve in Commune Hospitals: Health Minister

By Tuong Lam - Translated by Ngoc Anh

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