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Viet Nam to measure public satisfaction

Update: August, 21/2014 - 08:57
The Ha Noi-based National Hospital for Tropical Diseases is overloaded with dengue fever patients. The Satisfaction Index of Public Administration Services has been developed to measure satisfaction with public services. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

HA NOI  (VNS) — The Ministry of Home Affairs has developed the Satisfaction Index of Public Administration Services to measure satisfaction with public services, said deputy minister Nguyen Tien Dinh yesterday.

The measure is part of the country's Public Administrative Reforms 2011-20 Master Plan that targets improvements to effectiveness and efficiency of public administrative services. The plan also requires enhancements to the quality of public services and better service delivery to organisations and citizens.

The plan includes target satisfaction rates of 60 per cent by 2015 and more than 80 per cent by 2020. A specific policy for provinces to establish mechanisms for feedback surveys by 2015 is also built into the plan.

At present, around 40 per cent of citizens are happy with the quality of services, said Dinh.

Dinh said that the ministry planned to conduct a survey on the experiences of about 30,000 citizens across 20 major cities nationwide, examining the fields of land use, healthcare, education and business licencing.

He said that public service delivery in Viet Nam faced challenges in quality and access to services.

"Administrative reforms need to solve shortcomings but also meet the increasing demands of citizens in improved living standards," Dinh said.

"To build a more efficient, transparent administration, it is a must that people participate in policy making and implementation," he said.

Keiko Sato, Portfolio Operations Manager for the World Bank in Viet Nam said that if the government wanted to serve its people better, it needed to know what people thought about its services.

"The user feedback survey can help a province identify service delivery areas and themes in need of special reform, attention or capacity development, and to track which reforms are working and which are not."

Early this year, the ministry and the World Bank conducted a pilot survey in the three provinces of Thanh Hoa, Phu Tho in the north and Binh Dinh in the central part of Viet Nam.

People were asked about their experiences when using public services for the issuance of land use right certificates, construction permits, medical practice certificates, travel business licences, business registrations and healthcare.

Head of the ministry's Administrative Reforms Department Dinh Duy Hoa acknowledged that the pilot survey had revealed "surprising results" with more than 80 per cent of participants saying they were satisfied with selected services in their localities.

At a conference yesterday, director of Thanh Hoa's Home Affairs Department, Nguyen Xuan Dung said that the survey had highlighted reasons why people were not happy with public service delivery.

They included cumbersome administrative procedures, poor infrastructure, improper skills and work attitudes of civil servants, Dung said.

People also conceded that they could not master administrative procedures and regulations, causing further problems dealing with public services, he added.

The results had been helpful for provincial governments to identify new actions to carry out to improve satisfaction with public services, he said.

For example, about 42 per cent of 229 healthcare service users surveyed in the provincial Obstetrical Hospital said they were not satisfied with basic facilities, including toilets, which could, if addressed, help raise patient satisfaction.

The province would speed up administrative reforms including the development of a one-stop mechanism, improve staff capacity and increase communication to improve public understanding of regulations and administrative procedures, he said. — VNS

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