Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has instructed drastic measures to facilitate the development of private healthcare services in an effort to reduce patient overload in hospitals.

“All obstacles to expansion of private hospitals and clinics should be removed,” the Prime Minister said at a recent meeting on the implementation of the ‘Reducing patient overload in hospitals from 2013-2015’ project.

The PM also encouraged applying IT and advanced technology in medical examinations, hospital management, electronic medical records, and health insurance settlements.

It is necessary to step up the application of self-governing mechanisms in state-owned hospitals, he added.

The PM underlined the need to improve healthcare at the grassroots level through establishing satellite hospitals and clinics at all provinces and cities.

At the same time, he urged relevant agencies to accelerate the ranking of all hospitals both State-run and private based on service quality, with the goal of publicizing the rankings of central-level hospitals in the first quarter of 2016.

According to a report by Minister of Public Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, over the past two years, an additional three central-level hospitals have become operational, 172 wards have undergone renovations and nearly 4,000 beds have been added.

The nation has opened 116 new hospitals, re-built 1,667 provincial and district-level wards, and offered 15,535 new beds.

The ratio of beds per 10,000 population hit 28.1 in 2014, an increase from 24.7 in 2012, but the ratio is still below that of other countries in the region and the world.

The country currently has 1,182 hospitals, of which 168 are private facilities.-VNA