Saturday, August 15 2020


Doctor shortages plague Mekong Delta hospitals

Update: August, 08/2018 - 21:00
Hospitals in the Mekong Delta continue to face a shortage of surgeons, forensic experts and doctors to treat tuberculosis, leprosy and mental illness. —VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy
Viet Nam News

CẦN THƠ— Hospitals in the Mekong Delta continue to suffer from a shortage of general physicians and surgeons, especially for treating some major diseases like tuberculosis, leprosy and mental illness, and forensic experts, according to local health departments.

At a conference on training doctors and other health personnel for the region held on Tuesday in Cần Thơ city, Assoc Prof Dr Trần Việt An, head of training at the Cần Thơ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, said the region has 13 forensic centres but only four trained experts.

It has eight specialised hospitals for TB and lung diseases, but each with only one or two doctors, he said.

Hospitals in many provinces also have a shortage of surgeons in their oncology departments, he said.

Lê Hoàng Anh, director of the Kiên Giang Province Department of Health, said the province’s TB and Lung Diseases Hospital for instance has only seven or eight doctors.

He suggested that the Cần Thơ University of Medicine and Pharmacy should train more doctors for treating these diseases.

According to the university, since 2015, it has been training 250 doctors in treatment of TB, leprosy and mental illness, surgeons and forensic experts every year for the 12 delta provinces and Cần Thơ.

Overall, 1,229 doctors and other healthcare students graduated this year, with the rest being candidates who applied to study in the normal course.

Từ Quốc Tuấn, director of the An Giang Province Department of Health, said many medical graduates, including those who were trained in the treatment of the three diseases, do not want to return to An Giang to work despite being subsidised by the province.

They agree to repay the subsidy amounts instead, he added.

According to health departments in other provinces, the shortages have been a problem for many years since doctors are quitting to move to cities.

They wanted the health and education ministries to allow the Cần Thơ University of Medicine and Pharmacy to increase its training quota of doctors for these three diseases, surgeons and forensic experts.

According to the university, it will train 1,253 doctors, surgeons and forensic experts to hopefully resolve the shortage by 2020.

The delta region has 160 general and specialised hospitals and 7.85 doctors per 10,000 population. — VNS







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