Jun Hong Park, managing director of Johnson & Johnson Vietnam
With International Nurses to be marked on May 12, Jun Hong Park, managing director of Johnson & Johnson Vietnam, speaks to Việt Nam News about the improvement in the quality of healthcare and nurses in Việt Nam.
What improvements do you see in healthcare in Việt Nam in the last few years?
Demographic changes, a rise in disposable income, and steady economic growth have led to growing demand for healthcare services in Việt Nam.
In the last few years healthcare services in Việt Nam have improved significantly. Việt Nam’s Government has expanded social health insurance programmes since 2012.
According to data available, the health insurance coverage had increased to more than 87 per cent of the population by 2017 and will increase to 90 per cent in 2020. A lot of people benefit from the health insurance.
Healthcare infrastructure has improved thanks to the Government launch of the public-private partnership programme. Most hospitals use modern equipment and advanced technologies for diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Nurses have played an important role in the improvement. How do you assess the quality of nurses in Việt Nam? In what aspects can they improve?
Nurses play an important role in the healthcare structure.
Nurses bring resourcefulness and deep experience about patients to their work every day, intuitively seeing challenges and opportunities in improving care for patients.
The healthcare workforce in Việt Nam is currently insufficient to meet manpower norms and practical needs, especially with the number of nurses being quite low when compared to other countries in Southeast Asia.
Nurses should be appropriately distributed to meet needs, but there is currently an imbalance in the distribution of human resources and a shortage of manpower in Việt Nam, especially of highly specialized doctors in fields such as cancer, palliative care and mental health.
Most nurses in remote areas manage with a shortage of medical equipment and training. They have limited opportunities to use advanced methods and improve their professional ability.
The Ministry of Health has begun to encourage and require nurses to improve their qualification and capacity to respond to the increasing healthcare needs.
What do you think about the importance of pharmaceutical companies working with relevant agencies to help improve the skills and professional knowledge of and working environment for health staff including doctors, nurses and midwives?
Recently the quality of services has improved quite remarkably, but the health system has not improved equally at all hospitals nation-wide, especially preventive medicine, grassroots healthcare and primary healthcare. The quality of services, especially at the lower level, does not meet the requirements. The overload on highly specialised hospitals still remains a problem.
So it is necessary for healthcare companies to join forces with government agencies to provide onsite training to improve the skills and knowledge of healthcare workers.
How does J&J Vietnam plan to co-operate with the ministry and other relevant agencies to improve public health in Việt Nam?
Since 2016, in collaboration with UNICEF, the Ministry Of Health, the Department of Mother and Child Health, and obstetrics and gynaecology hospitals, Johnson and Johnson has organised several training sessions for hundreds of doctors, midwives, nurses, and other health workers on early essential care to reduce the mortality rate of mothers and newborns among ethnic minorities in the four mountainous provinces of Điện Biên, Lào Cai, Gia Lai, and Kon Tum.
This programme aims to contribute to the Ministry of Health’s national efforts for the development and implementation of national action plans to save the lives of mothers and children by improving access to quality health services and building the capacity of health staff in disadvantaged provinces.
Early essential newborn care includes delay cord clamping, immediate skin-to-skin contact with mother, early initiation of breastfeeding, and kangaroo mother care which is an effective intervention for caring for premature and low-weight babies.
As part of its commitment to advance global public health, Johnson & Johnson co-ordinated with international non-profit organisation PATH to implement a programme to reduce childhood tuberculosis illness and death in Việt Nam called Breath For Life.
We provided support to the National Institute of Malariology, Parasitology and Entomology to carry out the “Determine the soil transmitted helminthiasis situation and impact of mass drug administration for school age children” programme in Quảng Ninh Province in 2017.VNS