Hanoi will pour 120 billion VND (5.7 million USD) into upgrading its medical facilities in 2014 in order to become the country’s healthcare hub by 2020.

The plan was outlined at a January 9 conference reviewing the implementation of National Criteria on Healthcare between 2011 and 2013.

At the event, Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc urged the city’s health sector to learn studiously from violations that occurred in 2013 and close loopholes in its management of this field.

She also hailed the sector’s efforts in upgrading its facilities, removing red tape in the health check-up process, ensuring food safety and curbing epidemics.

From 2011 to 2013, the capital spent 54 billion VND (2.6 million USD) on building grassroots health centres and called for investment from society into water supply, sanitation and waste treatment projects.

The population and family planning work saw encouraging results last year. For example, the birth rate in all 29 districts and townships declined, the rate of the third born children was down 0.88 percent from 2012 to 7.73 percent, and the gender ratio dropped to 114.5 boys to every 100 girls at birth.-VNA