Viet Nam News
Lương Ngọc Khuê, Director General of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department under the Ministry of Health, spoke to the Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper about the efforts by Vietnamese hospitals to improve their service and attract patients.
Việt Nam now has more than 1,300 public hospitals. Why have none of them been awarded the title of the Joint Commission International (JCI)?
Only two private general hospitals in Việt Nam [Hà Nội-based Vinmec International Hospital and HCM City-based FV Hospital] have been awarded the JCI title so far.
The JCI award is an international acknowledgement of hospitals’ high quality and safety.
Vietnamese public hospitals are now implementing a Government directive on applying market financing mechanisms. But so far, hospital fees cover just about 30 per cent costs, posing a big challenge to implementation of the decree.
To receive the JCI award for our public hospitals remains a big challenge for health workers, hospital infrastructure and management.
Though our public hospitals have not yet applied the JCI criteria, their activities have to focus on patient satisfaction. In other words, public health workers should try their best to offer high quality service to their clients – the patients.
What do you think about the service quality of nearly 200 private hospitals in term of their facilities and management?
Many have been rated as good. Yet, they still have to do more to make their service better. In my opinion, even the two hospitals awarded the JCI titles still have a lot of work to do.
Private hospitals in Việt Nam are run under the Enterprise Law. That means their operation must generate profits. That’s why they have also faced fierce competition. If they have good physical infrastructure and high quality services, including highly skilled doctors, they will attract more patients.
In other words, nowadays, patients care a lot about the service quality and the health workers’ conduct.
How do you compare the hospital quality criteria issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH) with the JCI standards?
It is a long story. But what I want to say is that the criteria guiding our public hospitals are a combination of MOH standards and standards set by foreign hospitals, including the JCI standards.
To improve their service quality, all Vietnamese public hospitals have established their own quality management departments to oversee the service, particularly in the consultation rooms and patient wards.
In the long run, Việt Nam will establish a quality management council in each region and a Việt Nam Hospital Association. The key function of the regional councils and the Hospital Association will be to oversee the State management of healthcare quality in the course of the country’s international integration. — VNS