A health station in Can Gio district’s Thanh An island commune in HCM City. (Source: www.pasteurhcm.gov.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Officials from the Ministry of Health (MoH) is conducting field trips to 29 health stations in 10 provinces and cities’ communes and wards to survey activities, facilities, personnel and finance in an aim to improve the quality of health care services for local residents.

The survey is part of the implementation of the Government’s resolution on improving grassroots health facilities in the country. Health stations are in charge of medical treatment and prevention of epidemics as well as non-communicable diseases.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the results of the survey of health stations in remote and urban areas would be used to help improve healthcare services.  

The ministry wants better health services for people with health insurance, Tien said, adding that patients in the future will be able to use grassroots services instead of higher-level medical services that are often overcrowded with patients. This will also save patients time and money in transport costs.

Each ward has dozens of patients that now go to district-level hospitals for treatment, she said, adding that patient overcrowding is unavoidable at these facilities.

The current funds for all health stations in the country are limited, and, as a result, there is a shortage of medicine and lower-quality health care services, she said.

Tien said the health station in Binh Chieu ward in HCM City’s Thu Duc district has only basic medicine covered by  health insurance funds, which leads patients to choose other medical facilities.

Dr Le Ba Kong, head of the health station in Binh Chieu ward, said the station has basic medical equipment including an X-ray machine and testing machine.

There is only one general practice doctor at the health station in Thanh An island commune of HCM City’s Can Gio district, which is home to 5,000 people. The station lacks medicine, especially for patients with chronic heart diseases. It does not have basic medical equipment such as X-ray machine and ultrasound machine.

Tien instructed the city’s Department of Health first to require hospitals at city-level to provide assistance to the Thanh An island commune’s health station.

In the upcoming time, the ministry will use this station as a pilot case on how to manage health care for each resident under a model called family medical practice. The station will be among four in the city to carry out the model.  

The Department of Health said it would give the Thanh An health station an X-ray machine but that a facility to house the machine must be built. A sufficient number of oxygen containers for emergency aid will also be given.

The department has worked with health centres and the People’s Committee in Can Gio district to review the needs of Thanh An commune and meet the ministry’s requirements.

More medicine will also be given to the health station, and a project on traditional medicine will be set up at the station. Thu Duc district Hospital will offer voluntary training in IT application for the health station’s staff.-VNA