Nguyễn Lân Hiếu. — Photo quochoi.vn
Associate Professor Nguyễn Lân Hiếu, director-general of the Hà Nội Medical University Hospital, talks to Sức khỏe & Đời sống (Health & Life) newspaper on what medical staff have been doing to win the hearts and minds of patients being treated in his hospital
Is it the right time for Việt Nam to launch a campaign to attract both foreigners and overseas Vietnamese who have health problems to seek treatment in Việt Nam?
There are two main reasons why I want to advise people with health problems to seek medical help in Việt Nam, instead of going abroad.
First, from now till late this year, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese people cannot go abroad, even those with serious health problems. As we all know, people in other countries have also focused their efforts on the fight against COVID-19.
Second, for overseas Vietnamese who have returned to Việt Nam to avoid the pandemic, of course, they will use domestic medical services. This is an opportunity for them to understand how good the quality of the Vietnamese health service is compared with other countries.
Adding to that, it is time for Việt Nam to give medical aid to some of our neighbours who are facing challenges in their public health care.
What should the Vietnamese health sector do to persuade foreign patients to choose Việt Nam for their treatment?
The hardest challenge is that all public hospitals should be granted autonomy rights. With such rights, hospitals will be able to attract patients from any country in the world. Then, the Ministry of Health should issue guiding documents, including circulars to encourage hospitals to pour their money to invest in their health service facilities.
To my knowledge, the Ministry of Health has already come up with a proposal to attract foreigners, overseas Vietnamese living abroad and local Vietnamese people who are wealthy to seek medical services from local health service facilities from 2020-30. However, right now, when the pandemic is still going on, we should apply advanced information technology to attract foreign patients to come to Việt Nam for their treatment.
Recently, we had our first live TV broadcast with Cambodia to help our Cambodian colleagues diagnose a few patients through the application of telemedicine and telehealth technology.
We are confident the application of advanced technology will help us be on par with other foreign countries in the medical field.
How do you respond to those who say that some Vietnamese people seek medical service abroad not because of the poor medical performance of Vietnamese physicians, but because of the poor quality service?
In my opinion, the most important element here is the professional skills of doctors. People go to hospitals to ask for good health services. That’s why I’m confident when we have more patients come to us, it means they have confidence in our medical practice. This is a big encouragement for all the doctors and nurses to try to improve their skills to make their patients happy. — VNS