13:29 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 21/05/2019

Vietnam Today

ADB project to improve healthcare in disadvantaged areas

Released at: 13:52, 11/12/2018

ADB project to improve healthcare in disadvantaged areas

Photo: molisa.gov.vn

$100.6 million in financing to support government reforms to health service delivery and quality of healthcare providers, especially in poor, border areas.

by Linh San

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $100.6 million in financing to support the Vietnamese Government’s reform effort to improve health service delivery and the quality of healthcare providers, especially in poor, border areas.

The financing package includes an $88.6 million policy-based loan, which will provide budget support to the Ministry of Health as it implements complex reforms nationwide in key areas such as public investment governance, health service delivery, and health workforce quality in the local healthcare system. A $12 million grant, meanwhile, will complement those reforms by piloting health service delivery models in 12 districts in six provinces with high poverty rates, large minority populations, and susceptibility to health security threats.

“The program is part of ADB’s coordinated effort to help the government achieve universal health coverage, including access to essential healthcare services,” said ADB Senior Health Specialist Mr. Gerard Servais. “The grant, in particular, will fund critical investments to help ensure quality health service delivery in remote, disadvantaged areas, with a strong focus on women’s health.”

Vietnam’s remarkable economic growth in the last three decades helped it reduce poverty to 2 per cent in 2016 from 52.9 per cent in 1992 but success is uneven across the country. That has led to inequitable access to quality and affordable healthcare, resulting in disparities in public health outcomes, such as reproductive and maternal health. In the central highlands, for example, the infant mortality rate was 24.8 per 1,000 live births in 2015 compared with 8.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in the affluent southern region.

The government has recognized the need to build an adequate framework to guide public investment in the local healthcare system. Primarily including commune health stations, the system plays a critical role in equitable access to healthcare, especially in disadvantaged areas, and in strengthening health security but its facilities are often outdated. It also has weak workforce management and hasn’t adapted to the changing health needs of the population, especially in the management of rising number of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The ADB’s program will support the government’s reforms in these areas, including 14 already-accomplished policy actions. The grant also expects specific outputs. For example, by 2024, 12 district hospitals in the six provinces will have essential medical equipment to diagnose infectious and non-communicable diseases.

The grant will strengthen health security and implement health services delivery models that are more responsive to the needs of the population, along with electronic health records. The program will also contribute to regional cooperation in health security through the ongoing Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) health security project and the recently-endorsed GMS regional health cooperation strategy.

User comment (0)

Send comment