Top legislator calls for developing equal, quality healthcare system

Hanoi: Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue has urged the medical sector to develop an equal, quality and effective healthcare system towards universal healthcare coverage and social insurance for all. At a working session with the Ministry of Public Health on February 20 ahead of the 69th anniversary of the Vietnamese Doctors' Day (February 27), the top legislator requested the sector to fully roll out the 12th Party Committee's Resolution on enhancing people's healthcare in the new situation so as to improve mental and physical wellbeing, stature, longevity, and life quality of the Vietnamese people. He highlighted the sector's important role in the control of the COVID-19 pandemic and the downgrade of the infectious disease to Group B that covers the ones spreading fast and causing death from Goup A that comprises particularly dangerous ones spreading very fast and on a large scale and have a high mortaility rate or unclear causes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said countries worldwide can learn from Vietnam's pandemic prevention and control experience, and this is the biggest achievement that the sector has carved out so far, he added. He hailed the sector's efforts to overcome challenges, remove policy bottlenecks, and make bold steps in the completion of mechanisms, state management and implementation of professional missions, making contributions to the country's success. Describing the medical profession as a special one, he stressed that human resources in the sector must be recruited meticulously and receive special training and remuneration. Since investing in healthcare is investing for development, he recommended the sector to focus more on the training work, helping doctors and other medical staff improve their political mettle, professional expertise and moral virtues to better serve the patients. Hue took the occasion to asks the sector to study suitable remuneration policies for the medical staff, and sketch out stable and long-term policies to attract high-quality human r esources, along with bolstering technology transfer and innovation. He called on the sector to streamline its apparatus and step up administrative reform and digital transformation. Sixty-nine years ago on February 27, President Ho Chi Minh delivered a letter to a conference of medical workers, asking the sector to stay united, sincerely care for patients, and develop the country's health sector. Since then, the date February 27 has become the sector's traditional day./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

Health establishments in Hanoi ready to serve during Tet

Hanoi: The Hanoi Department of Health has publicised a list of medical establishments ready to provide emergency aid during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday. The list comprises 41 public hospitals, 30 health centres, the Hanoi 115 Emergency Centre, 42 private hospitals, and one private general clinic. To ensure medical services during Tet, the Health Department asked the establishments to gear up medicine, blood, transfusion solution, and other supplies necessary for emergency aid, check-up, and treatment. They were told to ensure that all patients in need of emergency aid receive timely examination and treatment. The establishments were demanded to prepare patient reception plans, keep a close watch on the disease situation, and make timely response. They also need to boost monitoring to guarantee food safety and prevent food poisoning and food-borne diseases, the authority said. It also asked the establishments to hold Tet celebrations for in-patients, especially poor and disadvantaged ones./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

Two hemodialysis machines donated to Vietnam-Cuba friendship hospital

Quang Binh: The Poor Patient Sponsor Association of Quang Binh province on January 24 held a ceremony to transfer two hemodialysis machines to the Vietnam-Cuba friendship hospital in Dong Hoi city, the central province of Quang Binh. The machines worth 560 million VND (22,750 USD) were bought with donation from organisations and individuals and the association's fund to help poor patients access healthcare services more easily, said the association's president Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong. Nguyen Duc Cuong, Director of the hospital, said that nearly 250 patients with chronic kidney failure received treatment at the hospital. However, the hospital only has 31 hemodialysis machines, most of which have been used for more than 10 years. In September 1973, Cuba's leader Fidel Castro visited the newly liberated areas of Quang Tri despite numerous dangers. The leader decided to help Vietnam build a general hospital in Dong Hoi of Quang Binh province, just north of Quang Tri, offering treatment to residents not only in the locality but also to neighbouring localities. Its construction began in May 1974 and the 462-bed medical facility was put into operation in September 1981. Now, the hospital has more than 1,000 beds and creates close to 850 jobs./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

HCM City reports COVID-19 cases hike

HCM City: The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health reported on January 24 that the city's infectious disease surveillance system has detected the emergence of sub-variant JN.1 of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in hospitalised patients in December last year in the locality. JN.1 is a sub-variant from the BA.2.86 variant of Omicron classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a "variant of Interest' (VOI), which is the cause of the increasing number of cases and deaths in some countries. According to data from the Ho Chi Minh City Centre for Disease Control (HCDC) from December 18, 2023, to January 22, 2024, local hospitals treated 94 COVID-19 cases from the city and several adjacent localities. Among the in-patients, 17 severe cases require supplemental oxygen. All the severe cases involve individuals in the high-risk group with serious underlying diseases, and have not been vaccinated with enough COVID-19 vaccine doses following instructions from the Ministry of Health. Notably, the number of hospital ised cases at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital of Tropical Diseases due to the pandemic has increased in the last six weeks. The municipal Department of Health said the JN.1 sub-variant appeared in the city after the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) reported it as the fastest growing variant and dominate in the US in December last year. In December 2023, nearly 10,000 deaths from COVID-19 were reported worldwide while the number of hospitalised cases surged 42% from the previous month. New variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have continuously mutated, and sub-variant JN.1 is spreading rapidly around the globe, according to WHO. In Vietnam, the northern region is now in the transitional period between winter and spring, when cold and dry weather is alternated with wet weather, triggering infectious diseases, especially respiratory ones. It warned that the coming Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays and spring festive season, when trading and travel demand surges, along with abnormal weather changes are favourable conditions for diseases to spread, particularly among children with weak immunity and the elderly with comorbidities, who are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. The municipal Department of Health advised residents to take measures to protect themselves, their families and the community, including wearing a mask in medical facilities and crowded places or when having respiratory symptoms, regularly washing hands with soap or hand sanitiser, and rinsing mouth and throat with mouthwash. People, especially those in at-risk groups, are recommended to get booster shots against COVID-19./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

New national strategy eyes quality healthcare services for all

Hanoi: Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha on January 23 signed a decision approving a national strategy to protect, care for and improve people's health to 2030, with a vision to 2045, which targets everyone to enjoy quality healthcare services. Under the strategy, Vietnam also strives to ensure its people live in a safe community, and well develop physically and mentally, thus contributing to improving the quality of life as well as of the human resources for the nation building and safeguarding cause. Accordingly, the prevention and control of diseases, especially emerging infectious ones, will be strengthened, and the health security ensured to promptly respond to climate change and public health emergencies. Attention will be paid to improving the quality and efficiency of the health service supply network from the central to the grassroots level to respond to changing disease patterns, international integration and the fourth industrial revolution; maintaining replacement fertility levels; reducing fe rtility differences between regions and groups; and developing the human resources in terms of quantity, quality and structure. By 2045, the healthcare system will improve the quality of services on a par with advanced countries in the region, meeting increasing and diverse needs of the people and achieving the universal healthcare coverage. To improve people's health, the strategy puts forth solutions such as speeding up the implementation of the Vietnam Health Programme and the hygiene movement to improve people's health; improving the health of mothers, new-borns and children; and reducing the rate of children with disabilities, with priority given to ethnic-inhabited, mountainous and border areas, and islands. Vietnam will increase investment in preventive health networks and testing capacity to ensure sufficient capacity to forecast, monitor and detect epidemics early, and control them promptly and effectively. The strategy also targets equality in accessing medical check-up and treatment services./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

Ambassador suggests stronger Vietnam – France health cooperation

Hanoi: French Ambassador to Vietnam Olivier Brochet has suggested the two countries enhance ties in medical research, saying health care is among outstanding pillars of bilateral cooperation. He made the remarks while addressing a workshop held in Hanoi on January 22 to discuss how to improve the management of chronic diseases in Vietnam. Brochet said chronic diseases are among global concerns, and the two countries should work together to seek long-term solutions to this issue. Amid economic development, people's improved living conditions and better health services, new health challenges have also emerged. Such chronic diseases as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and respiratory illnesses have been on the rise, requiring France and Vietnam further boost cooperation in this field since the health problems strongly affect people's life, he went on. Describing health care as one of outstanding pillars of bilateral cooperation, the ambassador elaborated that more than 3,000 Vietnamese doctors have receive d training in France while many joint research projects have been carried out. He considered the workshop, held by the French Embassy, the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam and Vietnam Social Security (VSS), as a demonstration of the common determination to further strengthen ties in health care, including sharing experience in and devising better policies on the prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of chronic diseases. The diplomat called on the two sides to reinforce partnerships in researching new pharmaceuticals, therapies, and treatment approaches, adding that his embassy will assist French businesses to bolster ties with partners in Vietnam. In his speech, VSS Deputy General Director Nguyen Duc Hoa noted the Vietnamese Government has increased investment in grassroots health care, including the prevention, management, and treatment of non-communicable diseases. The health insurance coverage has been expanded, from 47% of the population in 2008 to 93.35% in 2023, to wards the goal of full coverage. The health insurance fund has an increasingly important role to play in healthcare spending, he said. However, the official also pointed out certain challenges, including unchanged levels of insurance premiums since 2009, continually increased benefits for insurance contributors, rising expenses of insurance-covered medical services, fast population aging, growing non-communicable diseases, and mounting costs for chronic disease treatment. Given this, learning international experience in building health insurance policies is always a priority of VSS, Hoa added. At the workshop, participants shared other countries' experience in chronic disease management. They also suggested policies on the management of those diseases and the health insurance fund./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

Thomson Medical Group acquires FV Hospital in Vietnam

HCM City: Vietnam's FV Hospital has officially become a member of Singapore-listed Thomson Medical Group Limited (TMG), manifesting Vietnam's potential to develop high-quality medical services, thus attracting foreign investors. Speaking at a ceremony to announce the acquisition, Tran Van Thuan, Deputy Minister of Health said it is expected that after becoming a member of TMG, the hospital will receive stronger investment, better meeting people's demand for medical examination and treatment in the future and attract a large number of foreign tourists to Vietnam for health care. It will increase opportunities to connect between domestic medical organisations and facilities with international investors, he said. The official urged FV Hospital to make further efforts to attract foreign patients, contributing to gradually turning Vietnam into a wellness tourism destination in the coming years. Kho Ngee Seng Roy, Consul General of Singapore in Ho Chi Minh City, said Singapore has always been among leading coun tries that invest in Vietnam. He said that the acquisition of FV Hospital reflects Vietnam's increasingly important role in the region as well as its ability to attract foreign direct investment and close trade relations between the two countries. The cross-border cooperation and knowledge sharing toward the common goal of improving the healthcare system that both Thomson Medical Group and FV Hospital are pursuing are examples of the heights that the two countries can obtain through collaboration, he continued. FV Hospital was founded by Dr Jean-Marcel Guillon in 2003 with a group of French physicians. It receives and treats nearly 250,000 patients each year, of whom 25% are foreigners living and working in Vietnam./. Source: Vietnam News Agency