Health Minister explains cause of sector’s deficiency Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has pointed out primary objective and subjective reasons behind the deficiency of the health sector, underlining limitations of health workers and the overloading of hospitals.

Standing before participants at the April 1 question-and-answer session of the ongoing National Assembly Standing Committee meeting, Minister Tien held that collecting feedback from people nationwide via hotlines is an effective way to improve the situation.

The hotlines have been made available at hospitals, local health departments and the Health Ministry, and received more than 2,000 calls, she noted.

Minister Tien also stressed the importance of strengthening supervision and inspections of doctors and health workers, which require the close coordination of patients and their families.

Strict punishments will be given to those who fail to perform their responsibility and duty, she added.

The minister proposed that more investment should be poured into healthcare stations at local levels in wards and towns to reduce overcrowding in central hospitals.

In particular, healthcare stations in mountainous and remote areas should be upgraded and expanded with more equipment and staff, she said.

Minister Tien also mentioned family doctors and the expansion of private clinics as another way to enhance the quality of healthcare services and increase people’s access to the services.

She underscored that besides creating favourable conditions for private, foreign-invested clinics and beauty shops to develop, the ministry will tighten its management over them.

Closer supervision and control over advertisement of medicine, functional foods and cosmetics will be implemented, she added.

During the session, Minister Tien also explained a number of issues related to food safety, medicine prices and pharmaceutical tendering.-VNA