Ensuring a safe Tet is a must for medical sector - health minister

Thursday, 2021-01-07 10:46:35
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Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long reports on the results of the medical sector's activities in 2020 at the National Health Conference in Hanoi on January 6, 2021. (Photo: NDO/Thien Lam)
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NDO – To protect public health and ensure a safe and happy Lunar New Year (Tet) for all, as well as to restore normal life, is the immediate and long-term goal of the health sector this year, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has affirmed.

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The official declared the sector’s determination at the National Health Conference hosted by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Hanoi on January 6.

Minister Long said that with the achievements in the COVID-19 epidemic response for nearly a year, Vietnam is a bright spot for the successful containing of COVID-19, thanks to the efforts of the entire Party, the army and the people as well as the drastic direction of the Party and State.

According to the minister, Vietnam has never faced an infectious epidemic with the participation of all the people as in the past year. The frontline forces including the medical staff, as well as the army and the police have rushed to the hot spots for the fight against the coronavirus.

He reviewed the results the sector achieved last year, with the epidemic was basically put under control in Vietnam with effective treatment which are acknowledged and highly appreciated by international community.

Vietnam is also one of the first four countries in the world to sequence the coronavirus genes, is among one of five countries that produce antibody diagnostic reagents for COVID-19, and is one of the few countries in ASEAN that has run human trials for a locally-made COVID-19 vaccine.

In 2020, the health sector also fulfilled the main targets assigned by the National Assembly and the Government of reaching the proposed number of patient beds per 10,000 thousand people (28) and reaching a rate of 90.85% of the population participating in health insurance (set target at 90.7%).

Vietnam is among the top four countries with the best quality of HIV/AIDS treatment in the world, along with the UK, Germany and Switzerland. The stature of Vietnamese people has been improved, with the average height of males reaching 168.1 cm, an increase of 3.7 cm compared to 2009, and females at 156.2 cm, up 2.6 cm compared to 2009. The rate of under-5 stunting children in Vietnam is 19.6%, considered a low rate under to the World Health Organisation's classification.

The health sector is considered as a bright spot in digital transformation. In a short time, the sector launched a series of application platforms such as the Vietnam Health Network to connect health workers nationwide. In just 45 days, the sector has connected about 1,500 remote examination and treatment facilities across the country. Within five months, 98 million personal health records were finalised in coordination with the Vietnam Social Security.

Never before has the health sector had such position, role and trust as it does today, but this is also a challenge for the sector to maintain that achievement, Long said, adding that protecting people’s health and ensuring a safe and peaceful Tet is both an immediate and long-term goal for the sector in 2021.

He urged the healthcare units at all level to maintain COVID-19 response as a top priority as the transformation of the coronavirus requires greater determination in this tough war.

The sector strives to achieve the main targets assigned by the National Assembly and the Government in 2021, including health insurance coverage reaching 91% and meeting the health and population targets assigned in the 5-year socio-economic development plan during 2021-2025.

Long announced that the health sector is also building a master plan for its development by 2045, which includes a commitment to cut 30% of administrative procedures in the medical sector this year.

By March 2021, the sector will officially licence artificial intelligence for use in the pharmaceutical and food industry. In July this year, paperless outpatient treatment will be implemented, moving towards the digital healthcare in the near future.

In terms of health financing reform, the MOH is piloting the diagnosis-related group (DRG) in medical insurance payment and is expected to be deployed nationwide this July.

Minister Long also petitioned the National Assembly, the Government and local authorities to increase investment in healthcare in the medium-term public investment plan for 2021-2025, focusing on investment in preventive medicine, local medical sector and medical facilities in disadvantaged areas and those in border areas and on islands.