Patients at Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Hanoi’s healthcare system needs thorough plans for infrastructure and human resources, or it will lag behind other modernised cities, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Chung said.

Chung chaired a recent meeting with the city’s Health Department, representatives of local public hospitals and foreign health experts to discuss goals to improve heath services in the city.

Participants agreed that healthcare services in Hanoi have inadequate “hardware”, or infrastructure and technology, and “software”, the human resources.

Yamamoto, a Japanese health expert, said Vietnam lacks healthcare facilities with only 2.9 beds per 1,000 people and 0.7 doctors per 1,000 patients.

Patients in Vietnam overcrowd upper-level hospitals because they have better-quality doctors. As a consequence, two patients have to share a bed and beds can even be seen placed in hospital hallways, he said.

According to Director of Hanoi’s Health Department Nguyen Khac Hien, there are currently 41 public hospitals and 29 private hospitals in Hanoi. Only four of them, including Gia Lam, Duc Giang, Dong Anh and Soc Son hospitals, have been rebuilt. The construction of new hospitals is limited due to a lack of funding.

"The most urgent thing is to apply information technology to avoid waste and errors in the medical sector," Director of Hanoi Heart Hospital Nguyen Quang Tuan said.

He said he hoped the city would invest in a joint healthcare management system for all hospitals in the city to thoroughly manage health staff and improve the city’s health sector.

Yamamoto suggested clarifying the function of each healthcare unit to avoid overcrowding in central level hospitals while enhancing the capacities of health workers, which is most important in improving examination and treatment quality.

Chairman Chung asked the city’s Health Department to compile a report to thoroughly review the operations of local hospitals.

Local authorities would invest in a citywide technology system in both Vietnamese and English to not only link domestic hospitals, but also connect them to healthcare centres in the region and the world, he said.

The city would also invest in a high-tech medical centre at Saint Paul Hospital, standardised by Europe, and then expand that network to connect the centre and domestic and foreign hospitals.-VNA