HA NOI (VNS)— Hundreds of young doctors will be working in remote, mountainous, island and border areas, focusing especially in the country's 62 poor districts.
This is a pilot project announced yesterday by health minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien. She said:"The project aims to strengthen the number and quality of medical staffs for these socio-economically disavantaged areas."
The project would create more chances for poor and needy people to gain access to better medical services, reduce the unnecessary transfer of patients to higher level hospitals and ease the overload for central hospitals, said Tien.
Under the scheme, around 500 young doctors with strong study results would be selected for a further 18-month training course before going to work in deprived areas by 2016.
The graduates will be chosen from the four medical universities of Ha Noi, Thai Binh, Hai Phong and Thai Nguyen.
Candidates will have to perform their duties at district medical units for three years if they are male doctors and two years if they are female doctors.
They will also be provided with priority conditions in terms of salary, allowance and working conditions during and after they complete their missions.
Selection will be initially handled on a volunteer basis.
Dang Hoang Thach, one of the voluntary students from the Ha Noi Medical University said at the launch yesterday that, despite numerous difficulties, working in far-flung areas would offer a good chance for young doctors to sharpen their profession and contribute their youthful strength to the cause of public healthcare.
A survey taken across 20 provinces with poor districts also found that most provinces required young doctors to improve healthcare service systems, together with diagnosis and treatment quality.
The health ministry statistics show that the country currently has more than 16,200 doctors working at the district level, making up 30 per cent of the country's total doctors.
However, many poor districts continue to face skill shortages. In northern provinces like Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Yen Bai, many district general hospitals have only 7-8 doctors. — VNS