Vietnam strives to expand family doctor model by 2020

An average of at least 80 percent cities and provinces in Vietnam will implement family practitioners by 2020, said Associate Professor Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Health Ministry's Department of Medical Examination and Treatment at a conference on family healthcare on November 9.

The conference was the second international family medicine workshop held by Wallonie – Bruxelles in Vietnam, the Vietnam Family Doctor Association and Pham Ngoc Thach Medicine University in Ho Chi Minh City.
Speaking at the conference, Associate Professor Luong Ngoc Khue said that the family doctor project was set up in 1999. Till now, the country has eight education institutions which provide family practitioner training
Vietnam tries to implement the family doctor project in at least 80 percent cities and provinces by 2020, said Dr. Khue. Many family doctors are given practicing licenses; however, just half of them have practiced their skills while in some places, untrained doctors are working in family doctor clinics.
Additionally, family doctor networks have not liaised with hospitals in exchanging patients’ illness record and insured patients are facing difficulties in paying when using family doctors.
Worse, people have little knowledge of family physicians who provide immunizations and screening tests, perform comprehensive wellness exams and health-risk assessments, and diagnose and treat illnesses; hence, they refuse to use it.
In spite of that, the Ministry of Health determines family doctor model is the best choice to develop the health sector; therefore, the Ministry will expand the model nationwide.
The family doctor model will provide basic and comprehensive healthcare services to individuals, families and the community, contributing to primary healthcare quality and easing patient overload in big infirmaries, Dr. Khue emphasized.

By THANH SON - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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