COVID-19 fight – most outstanding highlight of health sector in 2021: PM hinh anh 1At a vaccination site (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has said COVID-19 prevention and control was the hardest job but the most outstanding highlight of the health sector in 2021.

Chairing a conference held both online and offline in Hanoi on January 20, PM Chinh recalled that when the pandemic spread to urban areas without the availability of vaccines and medicines, the sector brought medical services to the grassroots level by establishing over 700 mobile communal health stations, deploying over 300,000 officers, soldiers, medical staff, army and public security forces to help localities enforce the social distancing order.

He lauded the sector for building the vaccine strategy, promoting vaccine diplomacy, establishing a vaccine fund and launching the largest-ever free vaccination campaign in the country. The vaccination rate for those aged above 18 with the first shot has so far reached nearly 100 percent, and second shot 95 percent; while  the rate for those aged 12-17 with the first shot is 92 percent and the second jab is 76 percent, making Vietnam one of the six countries with the highest vaccine coverage in the world.

COVID-19 fight – most outstanding highlight of health sector in 2021: PM hinh anh 2PM Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the event (Photo: VNA)

With the consultancy from ministries, agencies, and especially the Ministry of Health, the Government issued Resolution No. 28/NQ-CP on switching to safe and flexible adaptation to and effective control of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was welcomed by the public, experts and international organisations and laid a foundation for socio-economic development, he said.

This year, the PM asked the health sector to continue focusing on the fight against the pandemic, accelerating the vaccination campaign in a safe, scientific and effective manner, enhance self-reliance in terms of vaccines, medicines, medical equipment and biological products while improving treatment and forecasting capacity.

The sector was required to fix shortcomings related to vaccine and medicine licensing, and particularly procurement mechanism, and improve the capacity of the medical system, especially preventive and grassroots medicine.

Further attention must be paid to improving the quality of medical staff, perfecting financial regulations, strengthening the State management on pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and pooling social resources for protection and care of people’s health, he said.

According to the government leader, the sector also needs to improve the efficiency of State management on food safety, prevent population aging, develop traditional medicine, enhance the efficiency of communications to create public consensus on the Government’s policies and guidelines in the field.

COVID-19 fight – most outstanding highlight of health sector in 2021: PM hinh anh 3At the event (Photo: VNA)

The PM requested continuing to step up the Party building work in the health sector, fighting corruption and negative behaviours, and build a contingent of medical workers with political mettle and professional expertise.

PM Chinh believed that the health sector will continue building on the past achievemens and fulfill all assigned tasks this year.

On the occasion, he launched a spring vaccination campaign and assigned the Ministry of Health to build a detailed plan for the effort./.