Firms urged to offer healthcare services

Enterprises in Viet Nam should provide comprehensive health care to employees to increase productivity and retention, an expert said yesterday at a workshop held in HCM City.

Nguyen Tuan Kiet, an organisation and people development consultant, said that companies should also offer reproductive healthcare services.

The workshop was held to discuss the report, The Power of 1.8 billion: Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future, released by UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Centre for Central Youth and Adolescents.

Kiet said that his own survey of reproductive and sexual health knowledge showed that a high number of employees lacked this knowledge.

"Enterprises see lower labour productivity when employees' health is not taken care of," Kiet said.

Research on the Return on Investment (ROI) rate for an 18-month period at factories in Viet Nam and Bangladesh showed an ROI of 3:1, he said. The ROI is used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment when comprehensive healthcare is offered.

If provided healthcare, employees work more effectively and have fewer days off due to illness, and are more loyal to their companies..

Training for employees to develop their skills and gender equality is also very vital, according to Kiet.

Vo Tan Thanh, deputy general director of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce & Industry (VCCI) in HCM City, said more than 62 million people in Viet Nam were aged 15 to 64, accounting for 69 per cent of the country's population.

To take full advantage of these "golden" human resources, the country needed to have programmes to improve their skills, he added.

As of the first quarter, the country's labour force was 53.6 million, but only 25.6 million of them have received training.

The country's labour productivity was still lower than other countries in the region, he added.

The workshop was held by UNFPA and HCM City's VCCI.


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