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MoH to update medical testing facilities

Update: March, 18/2015 - 10:13
A medical worker conducts a test for tuberculosis at the Paediatrics Hospital No 2 in HCM City. The Ministry of Health is preparing measures to improve medical tests. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ministry of Health has started developing measures to improve medical tests and examinations, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Xuyen has said.

Xuyen said at a meeting on Monday in Ha Noi the ministry was drafting a set of national technical standards for clinical units,. Another public laboratory would also be set up to conduct tests on samples taken by medical centres.

Steps the ministry has already taken include creating a National Action Plan to improve the management of medical laboratories, and establishing three centres for standardising and controlling the quality of the labs last year – one in Ha Noi and two in HCM City.

However, Nguyen Trong Khoa, deputy director of the ministry's Department of Medical Services, said the steps taken so far hadn't succeeded in controlling the quality of the labs.

"There are only three centres monitoring lab test results, compared with over 1,300 hospitals across the country," Khoa said. "The number of centres is nowhere near high enough."

Meanwhile, many clinical unit directors weren't fully aware of the importance of medical tests, so they didn't prioritise testing quality, Khoa said.

Along with shortages, the low quality of equipment used for testing also presented a problem, said Nguyen Minh Tuan, director of the Department of Equipment and Health Facilities.

"There have been a number of scandals questioning the quality of medical equipment recently, which has worried residents and patients in particular," Tuan said.

The latest scandal took place in August last year. Equipment provided by the ministry to 10 Ha Noi hospitals was found to be substandard, possibly with fake manufacturer labels.

Nam Dinh Province Department of Health Deputy Director Khuong Thanh Vinh said lab personnel weren't performing as well as they should.

"For example, among the 43 officers who work in the labs in the province, only 11, or about 30 per cent, were trained to do medical testing," he said. — VNS

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