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 fruitful meeting with the esteemed Dr. Saia Ma’u Piukala, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. The pair shared a unified vision for enhanced collaboration, focusing on restructuring and fortifying Vietnam's preventive and primary healthcare systems. At the heart of their discussion was a mutual agreement to prioritize early and remote disease prevention and control, a vital step towards a healthier nation.

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 echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the critical role of primary health care in addressing basic health needs. He pledged the continued support and collaboration of the WHO’s Western Pacific Region office in advancing healthcare in Vietnam and contributing to the region’s and the world’s sustainable development goals.

Zoey Nguyễn