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Hà Nội hospital helps Yên Bái narrow healthcare gap

Update: December, 12/2017 - 09:20
Associate Professor Nguyễn Quốc Anh, Director of Bạch Mai Hospital.
Viet Nam News

Ten years ago this month, the Bạch Mai Hospital (under the Ministry of Health) in Hà Nội  began transferring technology and providing technical assistance to the remote province Yên Bái under a programme aimed at reducing people having to go to major hospitals in large cities to receive modern treatment. Hospital director Dr Nguyễn Quốc Anh reviews the programme in a talk with the Sức Khoẻ & Đời Sống (Health & Life) newspaper.

What are the highlights of your hospital’s 10-year collaboration with Yên Bái Province?

Yên Bái, the northern mountainous province, is one of the 10 poorest localities in the country. It is beset with natural disasters, especially storms and floods, which cause great devastation, both in terms of lives lost and property damaged. It is this context that the Bạch Mai Hospital – the biggest such facility in the entire northern region – has provided meaningful support to the province, including transferring technology and knowhow to satellite hospitals.

In the case of Yên Bái, we told the province’s leaders that the human element should be the first and foremost priority, since infrastructure and equipment can be procured in a short time, but a capable medical workforce won’t just appear out of nowhere. And this is precisely where our support comes into play, with a well-made combination of theoretical lessons and hands-on experience and practice.

In the last decade, the Bạch Mai Hospital has trained and re-trained hundreds of doctors in many areas of medicine and skills – diagnostic imaging, gastroenterology, cardiology, surgery, etc. Thanks to Bạch Mai Hospital’s technical assistance, the quality of health professionals in Yên Bái Province has increased significantly. Many state of the art technologies used at the Bạch Mai Hospital have been transferred to the provincial General Hospital and the regional hospital Nghĩa Lộ. Now local people are the ones benefiting the most from these high-quality medical services without having to travel a long way to Hà Nội.

In addition, Yên Bái has co-operated with our training centre to organise several activities in serving the community, including free medical check ups and consultations, improving doctor-patient communications, as well as media campaigns.

What is your take on the benefits of this collaboration for ethnic minority residents of the province?

Being 200km away from Hà Nội, with a population of 800,000 comprising 30 ethnicities sharing the same living space, the medical sector faces great challenges. The recent historic flooding claimed 55 victims, and that’s a heart-breaking loss.

Due to its relatively remote location, in case someone gets a stroke and local doctors cannot perform necessary measures within the “golden window” of time, the life of the patient is seriously threatened, not to mention the debilitating, irreparable losses of functions. Therefore, since 2016 December, we have trained local doctors in fibrinolysis therapy, a treatment that can eliminate blood clots in acute strokes.

Before this was done, the mortality rate for stroke patients had reached 40 per cent, and even if survived, they had to live with severe complications. But now, patients can be treated within three hours since the symptoms start to show and damages to blood vessels begin, which considerably lowers the death rate.

We can also mention support for Yên Bái in terms of storing, maintenance and repair of medical equipment and devices; follow-up support for local physicians after the technologies have been transferred, such as imaging, toxicity treatment, and resuscitation.

In the coming time, with the improved capacity of Yên Bái medical staff, we will continue to transfer more advanced treatments so that the province’s people can enjoy modern medical achievements right in their hometown. — VNS

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