Nguyễn Viết Tiến
Nguyễn Viết Tiến, Deputy Minister of Health, spoke to the newspaper Hải quan (Customs) about the health sector’s determination to offer its best services to all people nation wide.
What are the advantages and disadvantages facing the health sector in the implementation of the twelfth Party Central Committee’s Resolution on public-health care?
I appreciate the Government and the Party’s commitment to provide the best resources to the health-care sector to carry out its tasks of looking after people’s health. However, the tasks and objectives set by the Party Central Committee are very demanding, particularly in the areas of human resources and material resources.
We understand that many difficulties and challenges lie ahead in turning assigned tasks and objectives into reality. A red thread laid down for the health sector is to gradually improve its primary healthcare services while developing the preventive medicine sector. At the same time, we’ll try to develop and apply high-tech health care to ensure a healthy life for all Vietnamese citizens.
Nowadays, the percentage of hospital beds and medical doctors per 1,000 people is low. This is a big challenge, but I’m confident the situation will improve in the years to come.
What should the health sector do to improve people’s physical and intellectual health?
The livelihood of the Vietnamese people has improved a lot recently, but many things remain to be done. That’s why one of the tasks of the health sector is to focus on raising awareness for the general public so that it can take care of its own health and that of family members.
However, autism among the children has raised an alarm. The ailment has become a burden for families. Of course, there are various reasons for child autism, including genes. To help them, we need strong co-operation between parents, the education sector as well as political and social organisations.
In the last decade, the health sector has scored quite a few notable achievements in public health. A shining example is our work in pre-screening of unborn babies to treat some of the genetic diseases, particularly the Thalassaemia symptom.
For the elderly, the Ministry of Health has developed quite a few programmes, including a model of community-based care for the elderly; family healthcare models and others. In addition, the public healthcare sector has also developed various models, including nursing homes for the elderly and residential home for elderly people appropriate to Vietnamese culture.
One of the objectives of the Ministry of Health is to provide satisfaction for patients. Does the ministry have any specific plans to make sure this will be achieved?
To make patients happy, high quality treatment is the most important. The most important factor is a doctor’s work attitude, because in real life, many doctors have good professional skills, plus good medical equipment, yet their attitude towards patients is poor. Thias causes anxiety for many.
Vice versa, in some health services, medical workers are pleasant, yet their medical expertise is not up to patients’ expectation. That’s why the Ministry of Health (MOH) has realised the need to improve doctors’ professional skills and their attitude towards patients.
The Ministry also sees the need to put patient satisfaction as the first requirement by refurbishing the health service’s material foundation, the working environment and offering good and high quality services to the patients. To do that, we have to adopt a specific road map to increase hospital fees, health-service prices and salaries for medical staff.
We will develop a good salary system for all people working in the health sector, particularly those who directly give services to their patients. We’re pretty sure that when they are well paid, they will be more devoted.
Quite many people have complained that there is a big gap in the service attitude between health workers in the public and private sector. What do you think?
In Việt Nam, both private and public sectors are equal before law. In the health sector, a level playing field is also offered to both the private and public sectors. Many private hospitals/service facilities are highly appreciation by their clients.
However, for certain facilities, services were so poor and patients were even being cheated. That’s why the Ministry developed a plan to give regular checks to these health facilities to make sure they have up held our law in giving good services to their patients. We promise to punish any facilities that violate our law._VNS