MoH plans to develop sea, islands medicine

Most of medical clinics in islands will enable to carry out anti-epidemic activities and expanded immunization and 90 percent of islands hospitals have doctors who can treat emergency cases and some other diseases.

In the project to develop medicine in the country's sea, islands to 2020 and with the vision to 2030 aiming to improve local inhabitants’ healthcare, Vietnamese Ministry of Health (MoH) is working on the plan that clinics in the country's sea, islands will be able to conduct immunization mission and medical workers there can treat local people in critical condition.

Currently the population in 28 coastal cities and provinces is around 43.9 million; in communes adjacent to seacoasts is approximately 16.8 million and in island districts of 242,000. 

According to MoH, medical workers’ competence in clinics in sea, islands is limited and residents there do not fully enjoy all medical services. In addition, islands medical clinics lack means of transportation in sea to transfer patients in serious condition to big hospitals for emergency.

Accordingly the Ministry of Health said the project will offer justice to all inhabitants to access to basic medical services and high-tech medical technique to provide better treatment to residents and soldiers in the islands.

As per a survey conducted by the Ministry, the rate of member of a household in islands getting a disease is 70.5 percent.  Profession-related illnesses have usually seen among fishermen, divers, aquatic breeders, seaside fish catchers and laborers in drilling platforms.

According to Vietnam National Institute of Maritime Medicine’s survey carried out in last 10 years, popular diseases among island inhabitants were metabolic disorder, heart problems, dental diseases, psychology and accidents from working under the sea. 

The Health Strategy and Policy Institute under the Ministry of Health said that around 33.6 percent medical clinics in islands have been newly built, and 35.3 percent of them are downgraded. Worse, there is a severe shortage of medical workers and around 46.7 percent of medical clinic have a physician.

It therefore needs to increase information of healthcare to residents in islands as well as implement the national medical major programs including anti-malnutrition among children, expanded immunization, food safety and hygiene, fighting infectious diseases such as dengue fever or non-infectious diseases such as heart problems and diabetes.

The Ministry said the expenditure to carry out the project is estimated around VND8.2 trillion (US$384,976,525); of which, VND1 trillion (US$46,948,356) will be taken from the state budget, the remaining will be from the government bonds, development investment, official development assistance (ODA) and social contribution.

By Tuong Lam – Translated by Anh Quan

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