Thursday, October 29 2020

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Health ministry launches telehealth network connecting 1,000 medical facilities

Update: September, 26/2020 - 08:50
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc and a delegation on Friday launched a remote healthcare consultation and support (telehealth) network that connected 1,000 medical examination and treatment facilities with nearly 30 central or end-line hospitals of Hà Nội and HCM City. VNS Photo Thanh Hải

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health on Friday launched a remote healthcare consultation and support (telehealth) network that connected 1,000 medical examination and treatment facilities with nearly 30 central or end-line hospitals of Hà Nội and HCM City.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc praised the health ministry for implementing the National Digital Transformation Programme through the development and implementation of the Remote Examination and Treatment Scheme, a project aiming to improve and protect healthcare.

PM Phúc said that expanding remote medical examination and treatment played an important role in the health sector’s reform process in order to improve the quality of medical examination and treatment from central to local levels, improving the satisfaction of people using medical services.

“People all over the country will have the opportunity to access and use high-quality medical services provided by doctors at higher levels right at the grassroots level, reducing patient congestion at central hospitals. People can be examined at home, while receiving consultation and treatment from a doctor through smart electronic devices,” said Phúc.

PM also asked the health sector to expand the remote health care network to more than 14,000 health facilities across the country to achieve universal health coverage and connect the network with other countries around the world.

Acting Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long said that the health ministry has worked closely with the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of National Defence and Viettel Group to develop and implement the remote medical examination and treatment project in just two months. The project has developed a network of more than 1,000 medical facilities with 30 hospitals at the central level to provide counseling, examination and treatment activities to serve people in all parts of the country.

“Through the project, the professional capacity of the grassroots hospitals will be raised, people across the country will enjoy higher quality medical services right at the grass-roots level while minimising hospital overloading due to reducing the large number of patients sent to hospitals at higher levels,” said Long.

Associate Professor Lương Ngọc Khuê, Director of the Department of Medical Services Administration, said that with the technical support of Viettel Group after two-months of implementation, Việt Nam has reached the target of 1,000 telehealth points. Many complicated cases have been dealt with at grass-roots levels instead being sent to higher levels. The system has connected many remote areas such as Côn Đảo island of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province, Cô Tô islands of Quảng Ninh Province or the mountainous Mường Nhé District of northern Điện Biên Province.

Prof. Dr. Nguyễn Lân Hiếu, Director of Hà Nội Medical University Hospital, said that his hospital organised two remote examination and treatment sessions a week. About eight to ten serious patients are seen online each session. After five months of implementation, the hospital has organised 40 working sessions. Of which, 293 cases received consultations and 162 hospitals have asked to join the connection.

The event marks an important milestone of the health sector in 2020, contributing to the successful implementation of the Prime Minister‘s National Digital Transformation Programme.

To realise the Prime Minister's programme, the Ministry of Health issued a project on remote examination and treatment for the 2020-25 period on June 22. The project aims to strengthen the professional capacity of lower-level hospitals as well as bring the professional knowledge of medical experts at the central level to all people in all corners of the country, especially remote, mountainous and island areas.

The goal of the project is that all patients can be managed, consulted, examined and treated by doctors from the commune to the central levels. All people at the grass-roots level can access high-quality healthcare services provided by experts at higher-level medical facilities.

According to the health ministry, there are currently 1,400 public hospitals and 275 private medical facilities, 30,000 general clinics, 11,500 commune and ward health stations providing medical examination and treatment services in the country. Deploying the telehealth system helps hospitals at provincial and district levels get deeper, faster, and broader medical technologies from central-level hospitals. — VNS

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