Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Although the family doctor model has been implemented in many district and communal medical centres in Ho Chi Minh City, it is still an unpopular service among patients.

Vo Thi Kim Oanh, head of a medical centre in Binh Hung Hoa A ward, Binh Tan district, blamed high costs and a lack of medicines and health workers for the problem.

Each centre has only one doctor who works as a family doctor and head of the centre at the same time, said Nguyen Quang Loi, head of a medical centre in ward 8, Tan Phu district.

He suggested that each medical centre should have two doctors to run the clinic.

Since people are unaware of the benefits of family doctor clinics, popularising the model remains a challenge.

Nguyen Huu Hung, Deputy Director of the municipal Health Department, said family doctors provide all health-related services for their patients and manage the medical records of all family members.

He underlined the need for doctors to improve their qualifications in order to raise treatment quality and win patients’ confidence.

According to the official, the department will soon issue electronic health records to make it easier for doctors to treat patients when they are transferred from grassroots levels to upper levels.

HCM City, Hanoi, Thua Thien-Hue, Can Tho, Khanh Hoa and Tien Giang are all implementing the model.

The Health Ministry plans to scale up the family doctor model across the country and promote the training of family-doctor physicians.-VNA