Residents of island commune delighted with volunteer doctors help

February 01, 2023 - 09:00
The modern X-ray machine will help the medical team in Thạnh An Commune to diagnose the patients’ condition quickly and not have to move them to upper-level hospitals.
A patient is X-rayed at the Thạnh An Commune Medical Station. — Photo

HCM CITY — As she finishes cooking, Nguyễn Thị Thanh Bình messages the volunteer doctors to come to her house and have lunch as usual.

Bình, 51, lives next to the Thạnh An Medical Station in Thạnh An Commune, Cần Giờ District in HCM City.

Every day, Bình looks forward to the volunteer doctors eating with her family.

Thạnh An Commune is the only island commune in HCM City. It used to be the poorest in the city.

“We're too lucky that the doctors volunteered to come here. So we are willing to invite them to have meals with us,” said Bình.

Living on the Cần Giờ Sea, the thing that people on the island commune are most worried about is not hunger or hard work but getting seriously ill. They must wait for the ferry for a very long time to come to the mainland for emergency aid.

Before, to transfer patients from the island commune to the mainland, the only means of transport was a boat. It would take about 45 minutes.

One more worrying thing is emergency at night. It is easy to be hit by thunderstorms or whirlpools.

Later, a health station was built, equipped with a canoe. But it was only used when a serious patient needed to be transferred to an upper-level hospital.

Therefore, residents were delighted when young doctors from central HCM City volunteered to come to the island with much more modern equipment.

Local people are diagnosed with a digital X-ray machine integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) for the first time.


Not only special for the people on the island commune, bringing a digital X-ray machine with AI to Thạnh Anh Commune is considered a "historic event" of HCM City.

The system also helps connect doctors on the island with leading experts in HCM City, providing timely health care to local people.

The modern X-ray machine will help the medical team in Thạnh An Commune to diagnose the patients’ condition quickly and not have to move them to upper-level hospitals.

The work is under a programme to improve health care for people in Thạnh An island commune in 2022-25, chaired by the HCM City Department of Health.

In the programme, initially, 36 doctors from 18 hospitals in HCM City volunteered at the island commune.

Luân Thanh Trường, head of the Thạnh An Medical Station, said that after only one month of bringing the X-ray machine to the commune, the rate of people coming to the station for health checks tripled compared with before.

Three patients received timely emergency aid on the spot.

It is scheduled that a new medical station will be built next year with a surgery room for urgent needs.

“I am very happy to be informed by leaders of the HCM City Department of Health that in urgent cases or difficulties caused by weather, a helicopter will be assigned to the island commune", said Trường.

All volunteer doctors on the island have at least two years of working experience in big hospitals in HCM City.

They not only give health examinations at the medical station but also go to houses to examine the elderly, disabled people and people with great contributions to the nation.

Hoàng Thị Phượng, a doctor from the Nhân Ái Hospital, said that it was the second Lunar New Year holiday she spent on the island.

“I felt homesick, but living and enjoying the holiday with people here is also joyful,” she said.

Vietnamese engineers programmed the X-ray machine integrated with AI. It can accurately read 95 different pathological lesions.

Its modern image storage and transmission system will help doctors on the island easily connect and consult with upper-level experts to diagnose and provide the best treatment for patients accurately. — VNS