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Conference to focus on improving grassroots medical services

Update: March, 18/2015 - 15:59
A doctor examines for a child at the Huu Lan Medical Station in Loc Binh District, Lang Son Province. Grassroots medical service system has played an important role in delivering basic primary health care for people. —  Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — The improvement of primary healthcare services for achieving universal healthcare will be the key topic of an international conference in the central Hue City on March 24.

More than 300 health experts and policy makers, including 50 international experts, will attend the two-day event that will be jointly organised by the health ministry, the World Health Organisation, the World Bank and the European Union.

Deputy minister of health Pham Le Tuan said at a press conference today, "The medical service system at the grassroots level has played an important role in achieving the goal of universal healthcare, because it is the nearest available system that ensures all people get access to basic healthcare at the lowest cost, and contributes to maintaining social equity."

"The international conference aims to assess the role of medical services at the grassroots level, including all communal medical stations, hospitals and medical centres of districts and towns, in delivering primary healthcare and implementing universal healthcare in Viet Nam," Tuan said.

He said the medical service system at the grassroots level had met about 70 per cent of the healthcare demands in the country. The system has played an important role in successfully implementing primary healthcare programmes, as well as the targets of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals in the health field in Viet Nam.

However, he added that the country's medical system, including the grassroots system, faced several challenges posed by the increasing demands of people, changing disease models, newly emerging diseases and an ageing population.

He said stronger political commitment from the Party, the Government and further investment in health services at the grassroots level would be important foundations for improving the healthcare delivery system in Viet Nam in the future.

The health ministry's statistics show that the country currently has 622 district hospitals with nearly 69,000 beds, more than 11,100 communal medical stations and 651 regional health clinics. The health insurance coverage rate of the population is 71.6 per cent. — VNS

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