The Ministry of Health has launched an online registration service through which all the sector's administrative services can be conducted online.

The comprehensive service, which is the highest of the four administration service levels in the country, is expected to create more convenient conditions for enterprises involved in the healthcare sector to register their businesses.

At the beginning, the ministry will pilot registration for advertising content of dietary supplements and food with micronutrients under ministry management.

Companies will follow four steps to complete their applications, including online payment for an advertising licence which will be issued within 10 days.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said at the opening ceremony of the programme earlier this month that online registration would enable the public and businesses to complete application procedures via the internet.

She said the online programme would improve management efficiency to better serve community health.

Deputy General Director of the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA) Nguyen Thanh Phong said that the ministry's online registration service would allow the public, businesses and the ministry to save time and reduce paperwork.

"Thanks to the online service, we will not need to store copies of documents or search for applications in the archives," Phong told Vietnam News.

He also said the public and businesses would be able to check the progress of their applications online.

"Online registration will help make the ministry's performance more transparent," he said.

However, technical difficulties were slowing the implementation of the service, Phong said.

"IT infrastructure and human resources are varied, causing difficulties for the VFA," he said.

He said businesses should offer IT training to their employees and invest in technology to utilise the online service.

Nguyen Thi Minh Tam, Hanoi-branch director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Vinamilk Group, said it took the company longer to send an application by post from HCM City to Hanoi than it did to register online.-VNA