24.06.2020, 13:07

24 hospitals join national distance healthcare network

24 hospitals join national distance healthcare network
The Ministry of Health hosts a conference to launch a project on distance medical examination and treatment in Hanoi on June 23, 2020. (Photo: NDO/Dang Luan)

NDO – The Ministry of Health (MoH) has approved the list of 24 central and key hospitals eligible to join the national network for remote medical examination and treatment.

The information was announced at a conference held in Hanoi on June 23 to launch a project on distance healthcare during 2020-2025.

According to the ministry, the development and issuance of the project is a necessary and urgent task in the context that the country is aiming to become a digital nation by 2030, with a vision to becoming a stable and prosperous digital country.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that in the fight against COVID-19, IT solutions that have been implemented to boost remote treatment and consultancy have proven to be effective. A centre for management and administration to support the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 patients has been established, regularly organising online conferences with the participation of leading health experts from across the country to consult on serious cases, discuss optimal treatments, and share experiences about treatment and care for patients.

The centre has marked the development of the medical examination and treatment system in the international integration process, with scientific and technological advances applied in the treatment of diseases, especially with dangerous epidemics like COVID-19, Long affirmed.

On June 22, the MoH approved the project on remote medical examination and treatment during 2020-2025, aiming at facilitating citizens in the medical examination and treatment from communal to central levels. The people have access to high quality health services right at the lower level health facilities, while such facilities receive regular and extraordinary professional support from the higher level hospitals based on IT application, contributing to effective epidemic prevention and control, easing overcrowding at higher-level hospitals, and improving the quality and effectiveness of medical examinations and treatments.

The project focuses on tele-health counselling involving both domestic and foreign doctors, as well as remote diagnosis allowing doctors and experts to exchange to serve diagnosis, treatment, research and training, in addition to telemedicine consultation with remote surgical solutions and new technologies such as robots and intelligent operating rooms that can be used in operating smart surgeries from a distance.

Under the scheme, there will be 24 hospitals at the higher level participating in the remote medical examination and treatment network. Hospitals also carry out training, technology transfer and development of cooperative programmes, as well as creating favourable conditions for patients to have access to quality services and techniques.

Mobile apps in some medical services are expected to be developed, allowing for exchanging, storing, and sharing of professional files among doctors during meetings, while helping users to stay updated on news, make medical appointments and find out the history of medical examination and treatment, as well as to make voice and video calls with doctors. Family doctors or village health workers can use medical equipment linked with such apps to measure, check and monitor the health status of the people at homes and the medical parameters can be transmitted to doctors at hospitals.

In its first phase from 2020 to 2021, the project focuses on investing in specialties where patients use remote medical examination and treatment services, especially specialties that are overloaded on the basis of statistical models of diseases such as cardiovascular, obstetric, paediatric, infectious, oncology, haematological transfusion, non-communicable diseases and other diseases in the community. The project is expected to invest in hospitals at higher levels and at least 400 hospitals at lower levels, including provincial, district and private facilities.

In the 2021-2025 period, the project will continue to invest in higher-level hospitals with specialties such as emergency resuscitation, respiratory, urology, neurology, endocrinology, dermatology, oral and maxillofacial departments, and other specialties on demand.

In post-2025, the MoH will evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme and consider the expansion of the project based on actual needs.