Seminar discusses international experience on quality assurance for healthcare training

Tuesday, 2017-09-26 16:13:48
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Experts gather at the seminar to share experience in quality assurance for healthcare education, Hanoi, on September 26. (Credit VNA)
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NDO – Domestic and international experts in the field of healthcare education gathered at a workshop hosted by the Ministry of Health (MOH), in Hanoi, on September 26, to share their international experience in promoting the training quality of healthcare staff.

Speaking at the opening, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that human resource training for healthcare is an important factor that acts as a prerequisite for the quality and effectiveness of the health system. Medical staff is unique because it is a special profession requiring specialised training, recruitment and treatment.

He stressed the need for renovating and improving the quality of medical human resource training under a set roadmap. Vietnam currently has four centres for accrediting higher education but there is no facility capable of accrediting medical training. Therefore, the nation should establish a common accreditation body and set up programme standards, whilst taking into account experience from other countries and applying it to the current situation in Vietnam, Dam suggested.

Meanwhile, it is also important to set up an organisation such as a Medical Council authorised by the State but not under the MOH, with the participation of trainers and those directly involved in medical examination and treatment, as well as representatives from units using human resources and State agencies and with the possible participation of patients and beneficiaries of health services, Deputy PM Dam said, adding that the MOH should coordinate with the Vietnam Medical Association in order to develop a project to establish this organisation in line with the current situation.

Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam suggests the establishment of a common accreditation body for healthcare education in Vietnam. (Credit: VNA)

According to the Deputy Minister of Health Le Quang Cuong, in Vietnam, healthcare human resources training has been paid special attention in recent years, through the diversification of training forms, in addition to formal training, with the participation of public and non-public training institutions. As a result, the number of doctors per 10,000 people in the country has improved markedly.

However, the control of skill practiced by post-graduates is still a challenge. To ensure the quality of health workforce and create a prerequisite for improving the quality of healthcare, the Government issued Decree No. 75/2017/NĐ-CP regulating the functions and tasks for the MOH, including the task of "stipulating and guiding the organisation of examinations for granting medical practice certificates in accordance with the current law."

Examination for granting professional practice certificates is an important solution to control the quality of training and capacity of health workers but this is an unprecedented new issue in Vietnam. Therefore, it is necessary to refer to international experience and adapt it to local conditions, Cuong added.

According to a report by the Department of Science, Technology and Training (under the MOH), the ministry has issued basic competency standards for doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives. However, the specific criteria for health workforce training remain inadequate; training size is not linked to the needs and requirements of the health system; while quality training is uneven among localities.

The department proposed that in the near future, Vietnam should establish an agency responsible for managing health practice (such as the Medical Council), in addition to establishing quality control mechanisms and organising professional competency assessments at national level to consider granting practice certificates.