Measures to improve the quality of medical workforce were discussed by health experts during a meeting held in Hanoi on June 24.

Organised by the Ministry of Health, the event was participated by representatives from the United Nations agencies, foreign banks, development cooperation and technical assistance agencies, which are Vietnam’s partners in the field, and those from several medical schools and hospital across the country.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Health Minister Le Quang Cuong stressed that health manpower is a vital part of any country’s medical system as they hold the key to ensuring the efficiency and quality of healthcare services.

He urged participants to deliberate ways to renovate the training programmes in the field, saying that the human resources development is one of the seven priorities of the national health sector in the 2011-2016 period.

Takeshi Kasai, Chief Representative of the World Health Organisation in Vietnam said Vietnam should consider reforming the training of health workers as the first step to improve the quality of medical services.

He added that the meeting will look into a future working mechanism for Vietnam’s medical partners.

The quality of healthcare services in Vietnam has been improved remarkably in recent years. However the country is still facing a shortage of skilled medical workers, especially those for preventive health, and medical units in remote areas.

Vietnam hopes to increase the number of doctors nationwide to 9,000 by 2016. It will also pay attention to training general practitioners and developing family health models, while intensifying the training quality.-VNA