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Viet Nam, Sweden join hands in health sector

Update: May, 27/2015 - 23:32
A view of the Viet Nam-Sweden Uong Bi Hospital in the northern province of Quang Ninh, one of the co-ordination programme of the two countries. - Photo

HA NOI (VNS) - In the coming time, Viet Nam's health sector should focus on minimising hospital overcrowding, upgrading healthcare system at the grassroots level, and ensuring health insurance for all.

At a conference held by the Ministry of Health and the Embassy of Sweden in Ha Noi today, experts noted that for a sustainable healthcare system, the management of service costs should also receive more attention.

The country should also improve food safety and hygiene and environmental pollution.

Pham Le Tuan, Deputy Minister of Health, said that over the past years, Viet Nam has made a number of important achievements in the country's healthcare system and has reached most of the targets in the Millennium Development Goals. However, the system still has challenges to overcome.

Typically, with more than 65 per cent of the total population of 90 million people living in rural areas, their access to healthcare facilities is not as good as that of people living in urban areas. Besides, hospitals in urban areas are overcrowded, with occupancy rates reaching 150-200 per cent.

Tuan observed that the country will need investments to construct more hospitals in both rural and urban areas and upgrade the existing ones.

Camilla Mellander, Sweden's Ambassador to Viet Nam, said her country has contributed to Viet Nam's healthcare system by assisting in building the National Paediatrics Hospital in Ha Noi and the Viet Nam-Sweden Hospital in northern province Quang Ninh.

In the coming time, the two countries will coordinate to train workforces and staff for the healthcare sector. Sweden will assign experts to give technical support to Viet Nam. -- VNS

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