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Vietnam launches Public Health Portal

Image credit: Nhan Dan

The Vietnam Public Health Portal was officially launched by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on 20 November, aimed at facilitating liaising with services provided by the healthcare sector.

According to a news report, the portal was developed as a joint effort between the MOH and military-run telecom group Viettel to publicise medical information towards an open, transparent health sector as well as providing the best health care for the people. The portal provides information across five public areas, including pharmacy and cosmetics, medical equipment, food safety, examination and treatment, and public administration.

Speaking at the launch, the Minister of Health, Nguyen Thanh Long, emphasised that the portal is the official channel of the ministry for people and businesses to look up information on drug and medical equipment prices, medical examination and treatment fees, information on circulating or recalled products and the results of administrative procedures.

He said that through the Public Health Portal, people can exercise their right to inform themselves and monitor services provided by the health sector, certain aspects are revolutionary in the medical sector, such as the portal, which will make public a huge amount of information, including medical service fees.

Currently, 1,490 medical facilities and hospitals nationwide have publicly announced their service prices. Shortly, the ministry will require all clinics to publicise their medical service fees and their quality levels, as well as patients’ satisfaction assessments, according to Long.

Additionally, the entire medical licensing process will be made public, he informed, adding that the ministry is promoting artificial intelligence (AI) in licensing for the pharmaceutical industry. The MOH has developed a software system to support the price disclosure, allowing enterprises to register and to be granted accounts for self-implementation and are responsible for managing information posted publicly regarding the medical equipment price on the portal.

Hoang Son, Viettel Group Deputy General Director, pledged that his corporation would improve the features of the portal with the application of new technologies such as AI and virtual assistant (chatbot) in the interactions with users, as well as automatically answering questions and ensuring absolute safety and confidentiality for the effective operation of the portal.

Further, the ministry plans to launch the Vietnam medical network, connecting over 500,000 health workers across the country, and electronic operating software at 12,000 commune health stations.

Despite having to fight against COVID-19, the MOH is determined to promote administrative reform, IT application, and digital transformation in the sector.  At a meeting last week between the MOH and the working group of the Prime Minister, the ministry informed that it has strengthened the application of remote medical examination and treatment this year, connecting 1,500 venues with foreign countries who have applied to join the network.

The health sector has applied AI in the diagnosis and treatment of a number of lung diseases and film screening, according to a report. Speaking at the meeting, Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung suggested the relevant agencies, departments, and units support and coordinate with the MOH to perform their assigned tasks.

The ministry should continue promoting remote medical examination and treatment to contribute to maintaining the successful results regarding COVID-19 and helping people enjoy high-quality health care at the local level. The two sides also signed an agreement to boost coordination between the Government Office and the MOH.

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