General practitioners to be trained for family-doctor system

General practitioners will be trained to become family doctors like in many Western countries.
General practitioners will be trained to become family doctors like in many Western countries.

The highly popular overseas service is being introduced to try and reduce overloading at central hospitals - and to offer patients far better care for the same price.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien spoke on June 21 with Vietnam Television's People ask – Ministers answer programme.

She said the family-doctor system meant that doctors would be given comprehensive training to treat all patients. People who needed specialist treatment would be referred to experts in different medical fields.

Tien said the family doctor system meant that patients would only need to go to central hospitals when they had a serious disease or needed complicated surgery. Although the family-doctor model was popular in many countries, it was still a new concept in Vietnam, she said.

Family doctors not only treated diseases, but taught patients about disease prevention as well as help them control chronic diseases, she said.

The family doctor model has been piloted in eight provinces and cities since July 2014.

Tien said that the ministry would soon assess the quality of the pilot programme as the foundation for a national system.

At present, the health ministry plans to allow GPs (General Practioners) to be based at clinics within commune health-care centres, hospitals at district and provincial levels - sometimes, even at reliably run private clinics.

Information technology will be used by GPs to send and receive personal information about patients to specialists, blood and X-ray laboratories, social-insurance agencies and central hospitals.

In most developed countries or in developing countries, a GP may be routinely involved in pre-hospital emergency care, the delivery of babies, community hospital care and performing low-complexity surgical procedures.-VNA

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