Photo: GIZ Vietnam
“Strengthening Provincial Health Systems” project holds its final workshop after a successful eight years.
The Vietnamese-German Health Programme, with the theme “Strengthening Provincial Health Systems” and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Government, held its final workshop in Hanoi on March 14.
The workshop gathered 200 attendees, including experts from GIZ, the Ministry of Health, Departments of Health (DoH), health practitioners, health managers at health facilities in provinces where the program was conducted, and representatives from international, bilateral, and non-governmental organizations.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien acknowledged the successful ending of the health program, which was targeted at improving health service delivery in the provinces of Phu Yen, Thanh Hoa, Yen Bai, Nghe An and Thai Binh. The results of eight years of project activities in hospital management and quality improvements to health services at the provincial and district level were also presented.
Selected hospitals and other partners spoke of their program-supported activities, such as Continuous Medical Education, Telemedicine, Cervical Cancer Screening, and Hospital Hygiene.
“The project has achieved many results,” Associate Professor Dr. Tran Quy Tuong, National Program Director, said. “It has contributed to improved health management, medical care services, and preventive health in the provinces.”
The project’s success, he went on, demonstrates the effective cooperation between Vietnamese and German partners as well as the two governments. “This is one brick in building the friendship bridge between Vietnam and Germany,” he said.
The project supported Vietnamese partners for eight years and was commissioned and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
During implementation, from 2009 to 2017, the program aimed at strengthening the capacity of provincial DoHs and decentralized health facilities in cost-effective management and needs-based delivery of quality health services, with a major focus on preventive and curative services.
Since 2009, in cooperation with KfW Development Bank, GIZ has supported the implementation of Vietnam's strategy to improve access to high-quality health services. The program operates at several levels. It provides advisory services to provincial and district health authorities and 29 hospitals in needs-based, cost-effective planning and modern management methods.
In the course of the economic boom in Vietnam, the health sector has made impressive progress. However, there are still considerable differences between the regions of the country. Good national averages obscure deficits in rural regions, where it remains difficult to gain access to needs-driven, evidence-based health services of reliable quality, especially for disadvantaged sections of the population, such as ethnic minorities, women, and children.
In addition, demographic developments and changing lifestyles are placing an extra burden on the health system. Accidents, chronic illnesses, and cardio-vascular diseases are some of the most frequent causes of death today. Medical facilities in rural areas cannot adequately screen for diseases such as cancer and hepatitis B and there is an increasing need for modern diagnostic tools and treatments in general. This in turn poses enormous challenges for hospitals at the provincial and district level in particular.