Sunday, December 11 2016

VietNamNews

Physicians’ Day in Viet Nam

Update: March, 10/2016 - 19:33

It was recently Vietnamese Physicians’ Day (February 27)

Doctors spoke of how health care in the country has improved a lot.

However, they also said hospitals are often not able to give the best treatment to people because they do not have enough facilities, such as beds.

They also spoke about how important it is for medical people to be passionate about their career.

Over the past years, the quality of the country’s heath sector has much improved, and contributions by the hospital’s doctors and medical workers to improving people’s health are considerable. Are there any concerns about the job, or the sector that you want to share with our readers?

 

Le Hong Nhan

Le Hong Nhan, head of the Department of Neurosurgery, Viet-Duc Hospital, Ha Noi

Over the past years, we have seen great progress in the health sector in general and in the neurosurgery field alone. The government and the health ministry had invested considerably in the heath sector and such investment is greatly welcomed. However, the lack of proper facilities and advanced medical equipment is still one challenge we face, especially in the neurosurgery area.

For instance, at Viet Duc Hospital, the number of patients waiting for surgeries is always higher than the number of operation rooms we have. Waiting time might increase risks for patients, especially those with neurotic injuries. But on many occasions we do not have a choice, because we cannot just put a patient who is already on the operable table aside because another patient needs to be treated.

Overloading is also a pressing problem. I appreciate efforts made by the sector to reduce this situation at hospitals of a central level, but more needs to be done. We always have more patients than the capacity at Viet Duc Hospital, resulting in many patients having to share beds. And also because of such limitations, we sometimes have to discharge patients earlier than they should be though we know there might be risks.

Overloading is not only bad for patients. If we doctors at major hospitals have to deal with too many patients who hospitals at grassroots level could handle, we will not have time for in-depth research and study for more complicated cases or advanced skills and technologies.

I always tell my students to work hard if they want to be good at the job. While integrity and morality in this job are indispensable factors, you need to be really good at your job. Because, being a doctor means people placing their health, and their lives in your hands. If you are not good, you will fail to save lives, which you are supposed to do.

Lê Thi Thanh Van, National Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Le Thi Thanh Van

 

Overloading is one the problems. It is quite understandable that patients and their families want to go straight to big hospitals at the central level for treatment. It is very important for patients that they feel they can trust doctors who treat them. So what we need to do is to improve the quality of doctors and nurses at grassroots level to win trust from people. We have been doing that by sending doctors from major hospitals to those at grassroots level, but it is not enough. I think one alarming fact we have to face is that many students are now learning not for acquiring real skills that they will need, but for the degrees that they will get.

Nguyen Hoai Thu, cardiologist, HCM City University Medical Centre

Issues relating to the implementation of an incentive policy are still not completely resolved. Surgeons in general, and heart and cardiovascular surgeons in particular, are currently paid a very low wage not worth their devotion in comparison to their colleagues in Southeast Asian countries.

A majority of interventional cardiovascular doctors cannot even support their families despite the fact that they work as co-ordinators for several hospitals.

I appreciate a recent government programme to improve attitudes of health care workers in hospitals as well as the programme to encourage young doctors to work in remote and under-privileged regions by providing them with special financial support and hope such effective campaigns continue.

As senior doctors, you also have to mentor young doctors and medical students. What do you always tell them about the job?

Le Hong Nhan: I always tell my students to work hard if they want to be good at the job. While integrity and morality in this job are indispensable, you need to be really good at your job. Because being a doctor means people placing their health, their lives in your hands – if you are not good, you will fail to save lives, which you are supposed to do from the very beginning.

Le Thi Thanh Van: I encourage them to work hard. You just cannot learn things in the medical field in a short time, it is knowledge collected day by day. One very important thing is that those who want to devote their lives to a medical career should be very passionate. I myself love my job very much. It is hard, yes, but I never stop loving my job, just like many other colleagues of mine. Because it is a hard and tough job, you need to love it very much to overcome all the hardship you will encounter.

What else do you want to share?

Le Thi Thanh Van: I remember in the past, people used to have a very warm attitude for teachers and doctors. Nowadays, it is not so popular anymore. I understand that the society has developed and things have changed considerably, and I cannot ask patients to act as if it was 30 years ago. But it is essential that patients understand that successful treatment does not only depend on us doctors alone. It depends a lot on patients and their families themselves co-operating with doctors and nurses during the whole process.

Nguyen Hoai Thu: Doctoring is praised as a noble job but praise is always followed by criticism and this causes intense pressure on us. Many doctors and health workers complain that they feel as if they are sitting on a "hot chair" while at work as they could face a negative reaction from society at any time.

The health care sector is actually a sensitive service as it relates to human health and life. Moreover, as they are being raised to take on noble work, doctors should never allow negative actions.

However, as doctors are also human beings, a mistake is sometimes unavoidable.

I feel sad whenever I come across any media stories that raise a doctor’s mistake as a negative action to accuse a group of doctors or even the hospital that he or she was working for, in a way that creates a terrible image of doctors or devalues the trust of patients about the whole health care sector.

Instead, media can play an important role by contributing good ideas or support us to solve problems that arise. – VNS

GLOSSARY

On the occasion of the 61st founding anniversary of Vietnamese Doctors’ Day on February 27, Viet Nam News talks to doctors about their thoughts and concerns about the job.

 

The founding anniversary of Vietnamese Doctor’s Day is the date every year that is the same date as when Vietnamese Doctors’ Day started to be celebrated.

 

Over the past years, we have seen great progress in the health sector in general and in the neurosurgery field alone.

Neurosurgery means medical treatment that involves the use of instruments on the nervous system.

The government and the health ministry had invested considerably in the heath sector and such investment is greatly welcomed.

When the government and the health ministry invested in the health sector, they spent money on it in the hope of getting results back from it. The results may not have been money but simply a population with better access to health care.

However, the lack of proper facilities and advanced medical equipment is still one challenge we face, especially in the neurosurgery area.

If there is a lack of proper facilities, there are few or none of them.

A challenge is something you need to do that might not be easy and would therefore test you.

For instance, at Viet Duc Hospital, the number of patients waiting for surgeries is always higher than the number of operation rooms we have.

Surgeries, in this case, means medical treatment that involves the use of instruments.

Waiting time might increase risks for patients, especially those with neurotic injuries.

Neurotic injuries are wounds that are to do with a light mental illness.

Overloading is also a pressing problem.

Overloading, in this case, means having more people in a hospital than that hospital is able to take.

We always have more patients than the capacity at Viet Duc Hospital, resulting in many patients having to share beds.

The capacity of a hospital is the amount of people it can take and the level of treatment it can offer.

And also because of such limitations, we sometimes have to discharge patients earlier than they should be though we know there might be risks.

Limitations are barriers to how well you can do.

Patients are discharged when they are sent home from hospital, usually after they have recovered.

Risks are things that could go wrong.

If we doctors at major hospitals have to deal with too many patients who hospitals at grassroots level could handle, we will not have time for in-depth research and study for more complicated cases or advanced skills and technologies.

Grassroots level is the environment in which ordinary people, rather than the rich and educated, live their daily lives.

In-depth research means careful and detailed study.

While integrity and morality in this job are indispensable factors, you need to be really good at your job.

Integrity means being honest and upright.

Morality means the idea that there is a difference between what is right and what is wrong.

Indispensable means absolutely necessary.

I think one alarming fact we have to face is that many students are now learning not for acquiring real skills that they will need, but for the degrees that they will get.

Alarming means worrying.

Acquiring means getting.

Issues relating to the implementation of an incentive policy are still not completely resolved.

An incentive policy is something that will encourage people to work better.

Resolved means sorted out.

Surgeons in general, and heart and cardiovascular surgeons in particular, are currently paid a very low wage not worth their devotion in comparison to their colleagues in Southeast Asian countries.

Cardiovascular surgeons are special doctors who operate on hearts and blood vessels.

Devotion to something means being faithful and loyal to it.

A majority of interventional cardiovascular doctors cannot even support their families despite the fact that they work as co-ordinators for several hospitals.

Interventional cardiovascular doctors are those who perform a very specialised form of surgery.

Co-ordinators are people who get many things to work together as one.

Nguyen Hoai Thu: Doctoring is praised as a noble job but praise is always followed by criticism and this causes intense pressure on us.

Noble means honourable and upright.

Criticism is the expression used to say that someone is not doing something the right way and that you are not happy about it.

The health care sector is actually a sensitive service as it relates to human health and life. Moreover, as they are being raised to take on noble work, doctors should never allow negative actions.

Sensitive means being careful about people’s feelings.

I feel sad whenever I come across any media stories that raise a doctor’s mistake as a negative action to accuse a group of doctors or even the hospital that he or she was working for, in a way that creates a terrible image of doctors or devalues the trust of patients about the whole health care sector.

The media is the industry that keeps the world informed of what is going on.

 

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

  1. A pressing problem at Viet-Duc Hospital, Ha Noi.
  2. Nguyen Hoai Thu’s description of the job of doctoring.
  3. Le Thi Thanh Van’s advice on how people wanting to go into medicine should be about their career.
  4. The industry that tells people about doctors’ mistakes.
  5. The act of leaving a hospital as a patient.

 

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© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Overloading; 2. Noble; 3. Passionate; 4. Media; 5. Discharge.

 

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