A doctor performs eye surgery in HCM City Eye Hospital. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy
HÀ NỘI — Promoting healthcare services at the grassroots level and bolstering preventive medicine should be the main task for Việt Nam’s healthcare sector over the coming years, said Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam.
The Deputy Prime Minister met on Thursday with leaders of the health ministry and discussed a draft resolution on healthcare and improved health for Vietnamese citizens. Đam said that changes in mechanisms and policies must be made to boost grassroots healthcare and preventive medicine.
For example, funds from the State budget should be allocated to preventive medicine while the costs of medical examinations and treatment should be covered by the Health Insurance Fund. A higher amount of the State budget and health insurance should be given to primary healthcare, Đam suggested.
He added that the draft resolution, which would be submitted and approved by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Việt Nam’s Central Committee, must focus and prioritise investment for primary and preventive healthcare, especially in disadvantaged areas.
Deputy Health Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long said that Việt Nam had been expanding its preventive healthcare network to better control diseases, increase life-span and height.
However, primary and preventive healthcare was facing difficulties as Việt Nam was now paying more attention to medical treatment than preventive healthcare.
“In Việt Nam, hospitals are still considered the face of the healthcare sector,” Long said, implying that the Government spent more on medical examination and treatment.
“When primary and preventive healthcare are not given proper attention and investment, they fail to work effectively, resulting in more people with illnesses. The increased number of new hospitals would not meet demand, and visibly, hospitals are usually overcrowded,” he said.
In Việt Nam, about 30 per cent of the population do not get regular health checks and usually only went to the hospital when their illness had become more serious.
Other countries usually invest in preventive medicine to minimise the number of people needing care and shorten treatment time.
Also during the meeting, Deputy PM Đam pointed out major problems in Việt Nam’s healthcare sector including the distribution and pricing of medicines, drug-resistance and overcrowded hospitals.
He asked for measures to better control the distribution and trade of drugs, especially prescribed medicines.
He also suggested that the draft resolution should evaluate the combination of western and traditional medicine, and the effectiveness of evidence-based traditional remedies so that they could be more widely used.
In 2005, the Political Bureau approved Resolution 46-NQ/TW on healthcare and improved health for people in Việt Nam with a focus on family planning and population policies. Meanwhile, the draft of the new resolution for the coming years focuses on improving primary and healthcare services as well as increasing health insurance coverage so that more people could access comprehensive healthcare. — VNS