|A medical worker gives treatment to a patient at the Thai Nguyen National Central Hospital. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged the health sector to prevent congestion at central hospitals. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS) — At an online conference yesterday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged the health sector to tighten food safety management and improve the quality of examinations and treatment, while also taking action to prevent hospital congestion at central hospitals.
"Priority should be given to train more skilled doctors and to expand the satellite hospital system to train more medical staff and transfer more medical techniques to provincial and district hospitals," he said.
At the conference, which was held to review health activities in 2015 and implement tasks for 2016, PM Dung praised the efforts and achievements of the health sector last year, which he described as an important step towards development.
"Remarkable results in preventive medicine, such as the National Expanded Programme for Immunisation and outbreak prevention activities, were bright points in Viet Nam's health care in 2015," said Dung.
The PM asked the health ministry to continue to improve its preventive medicine and primary health care programmes to ensure that basic and quality health care services are accessible to all people and to prevent epidemics.
Favourable conditions should be created to mobilise more investment from the State and private sector into health infrastructure development projects to better serve the increasing demand for health care, he said.
Dung said the health ministry should also expand health insurance coverage and population and family planning programmes as well as improve its State management from central to local levels through the application of IT and procedure reforms.
Provinces and cities were asked to restructure their health care systems at district levels and implement overall measures to achieve health care targets from 2016 to 2020.
Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the health sector faced many challenges due to the fact that State investment for health care fell short of the national demand, especially investment in commune health stations and district preventive medicine systems.
Private medical facilities have faced difficulties in accessing priority policies while human resource shortages were a common concern among health care systems at grassroots levels.
The quality of health care services and the health index varies greatly from one region to the next, which poses challenges for the provision of health care and protection, according to Tien.
She said the health sector will focus on improving the effectiveness of grassroots health care systems as well as enacting a preventive medicine programme in 2016 with an aim to actively prevent diseases and epidemics.
"Overall measures would be taken to improve examinations and treatment, reduce hospital overloading and expand health insurance coverage to at least 80 per cent of the country's population by 2020," said Tien.
The health ministry said remarkable results have been achieved in health care activities from 2011 to 2015. The life expectancy age rose to 73.3 in 2015 compared to 72.9 in 2010. The number of doctors was 8 per 10,000 people in 2015 compared with 7.2 in 2010, and the number of pharmacists was 2.2 per 10,000 people compared to 1.76 in 2010.
The maternal fatality ratio fell from 68/100,000 birth deliveries to 58.3/100,000 in 2015. The fatality rate of children under age one sank to 14.74 per thousand from 23.8 per thousand in 2010. The underweight rate of children under five was 14.1 per cent in 2015 compared to 17.5 in 2010.
Last year, the number of beds per 10,000 people increased to 24 compared to 21.5 in 2011. Hospital congestion was handled at more than 80 per cent of central hospitals in Ha Noi and HCM City as a result of a satellite hospital model system, which helped reduce the number of patients sent from district and provincial hospitals to central hospitals. — VNS