|An army doctor examines a soldier in a Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago Healthcare Centre in central Khanh Hoa Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung
HA NOI (VNS)— Healthcare would be strengthened in an effort to better meet the demand of those living in 151 districts or towns of 28 coastal and island provinces nation-wide.
This is the aim of a VND8.2 trillion (US$390 million) project, entitled Viet Nam Sea and Island Health Development to 2020.
"The limited capacity of island medical centres and hospitals and clinics haven't satisfied the increasing demand of saving and treatment during the rainy season due to a shortage of effective emergency transport systems at sea," Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said yesterday in a meeting to kick off the project.
"Increasing population scales, development of the sea economy, changeable weather and the mission of fatherland protection have posed big challenges to the health sector in caring and protecting the health of the army and people working and living in sea and island areas," said Tien.
Approved by the Government in February, the project aimed to provide more investment sources for sea and island health care systems and access to quality medical services to successfully implement targets of the Viet Nam Sea Strategy to 2020.
Major-General Vu Quoc Binh, Director of the Military Medical Department under the Ministry of Defence, said that the ministry would focus activities on upgrading medical equipment and human resources and the inftrastructure of recuperation and emergency units to a centre that received and provided emergency services and provided remote support to other military hospitals.
"A new multi-function ship would be built with a 20-bed capacity that would operate as a mobile hospital to provide transport, examination and treatment services for people and soldiers at sea," said Binh.
Binh added that two patrols ships of the Viet Nam Sea Police Force would be equipped with medicine and medical facilities for handling general first-aid cases at sea.
Military hygiene and preventive medicine units would be set up in Military Regions 1,3,4,5,6 and 9 in order to provide health consulting, disease prevention and professional help for those living in island areas.
The project plans to train people in sea medicine in order to provide emergency, examination and treatment for 70 per cent of hospitals, medical centres of island districts and coastal hospitals of sea economic sectors by 2020.
All island communes would have health clinics and 40 per cent of hospitals or medical centres in island districts would perform surgery techniques equivalent to a mainland hospital level 2.
Four emergency centres would be built with enough capacity for emergencies and transport services in the sea.
A survey of the health ministry in 2010 showed that more than 70 per cent of members in an island household had had at least one disease. Groups of offshore fishermen and boatmen had had high rates of cardiovascular and mental diseases.
Heart, digestion and bone diseases were diagnosed in more than 33 per cent of offshore fisherman groups, higher than the same group of people living in mainland areas.
According to the health ministry, Viet Nam had 28 coastal provinces and cities with a population of more than 43.8 million people. — VNS