The Evolution of Vietnam’s Healthcare: Seeking WHO’s Guidance for a Brighter Future

On Friday, Vietnam's dynamic Deputy Prime Minister, Tran Hong Ha, hosted a productive meeting with the esteemed Dr. Saia Ma’u Piukala, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. The engaging discussion, held in Hanoi, centered around a shared vision for enhanced collaboration between Vietnam and the WHO. With a focus on innovation and a commitment to improving the lives of Vietnamese citizens, the two leaders agreed to strengthen their partnership, particularly in restructuring and fortifying the nation's preventive and primary healthcare systems. Emphasizing the importance of early and remote disease prevention and control, the meeting paved the way for a brighter and healthier future for Vietnam.

Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha meets with Dr. Saia Ma’u Piukala, Director of the Western Pacific Region of the World Health Organization, to discuss global healthcare initiatives and Vietnam’s public health goals. (Photo: VGP/MK)

During their meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha expressed Vietnam’s gratitude for the pivotal support provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) in orchestrating global healthcare and public health initiatives. He highlighted the country’s appreciation for the companionship, guidance, and expertise offered by WHO officials and specialists across all realms of healthcare policy and services.

Vietnam has particularly benefited from this collaboration during the global pandemic. The timely and effective assistance received from the WHO played a crucial role in helping the country navigate and overcome the crisis. As one of the 15 nations chosen by the WHO for mRNA vaccine technology transfer, Vietnam is now seeking practical support to enhance its research and production capabilities for emerging infectious diseases and those with resurging threats, such as measles and tuberculosis.

In addition to bolstering its capabilities in infectious disease management, Vietnam is committed to diversifying its healthcare offerings to meet the evolving needs of its citizens. Deputy Prime Minister Ha underscored the intrinsic link between the quality of the living environment and health, emphasizing that healthcare policies and health protection strategies must go hand in hand with environmental considerations.

Addressing concerns related to drug, vaccine, and medical product management, he urged the WHO to deploy experts to assist Vietnam in refining its procurement mechanisms. This expertise will ensure a stable and sustainable supply chain for critical healthcare resources.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Science and Technology has been tasked with collaborating with the Ministry of Health to assess the health impact of electronic cigarettes, especially among adolescents, and to align their strategies with WHO directives.

Dr. Saia Ma’u Piukala, Director of the Western Pacific Region of the WHO, reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to primary health care as the foundation for addressing basic health needs. He pledged continued collaboration with Vietnam to advance healthcare and contribute to the region’s and the world’s sustainable development goals.

Zoey Nguyễn