District-level hospitals in Vietnam now provide about 40 percent of check-up, treatment and other health care services, heard a recent seminar in the northern province of Nam Dinh.

However, these hospitals’ limitations in size and capacity have led to poor service quality, prompting patients to seek treatment at central and provincial hospitals causing overloads, said participants.

To address this problem, the Examination and Treatment Management Department under the Health Ministry, the Nam Dinh provincial Health Department, FHI 360 organisation, and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) jointly piloted a project on improving the capacity of district-level hospitals in Nam Dinh province.

The project was carried out from October 2012 to March 2014 at 11 hospitals in nine districts and Nam Dinh city, with CDC technical support and funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Speaking at the seminar, Bui Thi Minh Thu, Director of the provincial Health Department said the grassroots-level health system, including district hospitals, plays an important role in caring for public health in localities and ease overloads in central and provincial hospitals.

Therefore, the project creates an effective model which should be expanded to other provinces, she said.-VNA