Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Finance Phan Lê Thu Hằng. — VNA/VNS Photo
Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Department of Planning and Finance Phan Lê Thu Hằng, from the Ministry of Health, talks to Vietnam News Agency on the need to have quality primary healthcare centres at the grassroots level
Why do many people not want to go to primary healthcare centres for their health checks?
Nowadays, many communal primary healthcare centres have been equipped with advanced medical equipment, yet many people still prefer to go to more advance healthcare centres for their health checks, particularly for medical treatment.
In my opinion, to attract more patients, these communal healthcare centres must first improve their services, particularly the medical expertise of the health workers there.
Having good medical equipment is not enough, we need to improve the professional skills of the health workers in these communal healthcare centres too. I’m pretty sure that if any primary healthcare centre has met the two criteria of good medical equipment and highly qualified medical staff, no doubt, more patients will go there for their medical treatment.
Can you talk a bit in detail what should these primary healthcare centres do?
To solve this problem, pouring investment in the grassroots medical system should not be the main objective for these primary healthcare centres. What we want to achieve through these primary healthcare centres is to offer the best health services to the people toward the goal of the patients’ satisfaction and to cut the service cost.
We have set a target that these primary healthcare centres will have good technical infrastructure, high quality human resources and have sufficient budget to run services.
According to the Ministry of Health plan in the near future, Việt Nam will build 138 new communal healthcare centres while upgrading 325 old communal healthcare centres. What about the issue of human resources?
We will do the two activities at the same time. However, we’ll focus more attention to improve the technical infrastructure and human resources development for areas/regions which are facing more difficulties. Of course, to do this we will adopt both long-term and short-term plans with priorities given to urgent issues, particularly the recruitment of high-quality human resources.
In the long run, we will focus more on training high-quality healthcare workers for the grassroots levels, particularly through on the job training.
Can you talk a bit about the application of technology in communal health centres?
We have already adopted a plan to apply the electronic healthcare system nationwide. Of course, before introducing this system, we’ll hold training workshops for all medical workers at grassroots levels with a model 1-4-4-2. It means one medical doctor at the central level is assigned to give technical support to at least four medical workers at the provincial level, plus four medical workers at the district level and two medical workers at the communal level.
The Ministry of Health has already adopted a financial plan for the application of high-tech in communal health centres.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has proposed the development of high-quality services in the national primary healthcare programme. — VNS