Ho Chi Minh City will carry out a project to build a network of family doctor clinics in its districts by 2020 in order to improve health care services.

The project was introduced by the municipal Health Department and the Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University on November 12.

Recognised as a specialty in Vietnam since 2002, family medicine is still a novel approach in the country, which aims to provide primary healthcare services to individuals, families and community.

In Ho Chi Minh City, this model has been implemented at 10 hospitals in local districts, helping reduce overcrowding in hospitals.

However, there remain many difficulties in terms of material conditions, human resources, and mechanism execution that hinder the development of this model, said Dr. Nguyen Thanh Hiep, head of the Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University's Family Doctor Faculty.

In the first phase of the project, Hiep suggested building and developing the model at a small scale with supporting policies and investment in several local health stations. If this works well, then the model will be expanded, he added.

Doctor Nguyen Ngoc Duy, a representative from the city’s Health Department, expressed his belief that the family doctor service will gain public confidence and help ease the overloaded in hospitals, especially in central ones.

To realise the project, the department is building a patients information management system at local hospitals and family doctor centres as well as investing in medical equipment to facilitate family doctor services.-VNA