Stronger scientific research urged

Update: July, 04/2011 - 10:09
Deputy PM Nguyen Thien Nhan visits the Vaccines and Biological Products Company in Ha Noi. The health sector has been asked to take the lead in scientific research. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

Deputy PM Nguyen Thien Nhan visits the Vaccines and Biological Products Company in Ha Noi. The health sector has been asked to take the lead in scientific research. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

HA NOI — Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has called on the health sector to take the lead in scientific research in order to improve the quality of healthcare.

At a meeting on the application of science and technology in the health sector on Saturday, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said that from 2006 to 2010, the total expense on scientific and technological research reached more than VND380 billion (US$18 million). Around 56 per cent of the total amount was spent on scientific research and technological development while 22 per cent went to upgrading laboratory equipment.

According to Tien, Viet Nam has managed to research and produce more than 10 different types of vaccines, which has increased its credibility as a vaccine producer.

However, Tien added that capital sources for scientific and technological development were still limited, meaning that healthcare in Viet Nam had not yet managed to equal the advancements in modern medical techniques available in other parts of the region and the world.

She went even further by saying that managing copyrights, intellectual property and invention protection had not been done comprehensively.

"Scientific and technological development is still not handled with the importance and respect that it deserves in order to achieve significant advancement," Tien said.

Childrens' cardio centre being built in Ha Noi

HA NOI — Work began on a tumour and cardiovascular disease centre for children at the Ha Noi-based Bach Mai General Hospital on Saturday.

The VND1.4 trillion (US$68 million), 21-storey building, will occupy a 3,500-sq.m area in the hospital precinct and is expected to reach completion by 2015. The centre will consist of 500 wards and be equipped with the latest technologies.

Addressing the launch ceremony, Deputy PM Nhan said that despite a lack of State funds, the Government had still approved the construction of the centre, indicating its importance to the country in becoming a high-quality facility offering tumour and cardiovascular examination and treatment while alleviating the overloaded situation at other hospitals.

Although around 20,000 children are diagnosed with congenital heart problems each year, only 10 per cent receive proper medical treatment, according to Hospital Director Dr Nguyen Quoc Anh. — VNS

Over the past few years, ministerial units have not been overly keen on implementing scientific research projects due to complicated procedures, she noted, adding that the application of research results into real production and business was still slow.

Nhan praised the achievements of the health sector during the past five years, saying that scientific research had contributed to modernising health facilities, increasing life expectancy, reducing fatality rates and bringing happiness to patients and the community.

Alongside his praises, Nhan called on the ministry to develop stronger incentives for and limit obstacles between scientists and management authorities in order to encourage research and technological application.

The health sector must take advantage of international community support and co-operation in scientific research planning and transferring technology, he stressed.

Nhan agreed with the ministry's proposal to set up an independent agency to assess the efficiency of medicines, technology and high-qualified treatment facilities.

During the meeting, the ministry further suggested the construction of a key laboratory focused on the study and development of new medicines. — VNS