Remote health care scheme to be implemented

Tuesday, 29/09/2020, 13:52 [GMT+7]

Remote health care scheme to be implemented

The Ministry of Health has just held an online conference and launched Telehealth remote health care network connecting 1,000 medical facilities, including in Khanh Hoa. 
 
The Ministry of Health issued Decision No. 2628 on a remote examination and treatment scheme for the 2020-2025 period on June 22 in an effort to reach a long-term goal of strengthening professional capacity of grassroots health facilities, including at commune-level, as well as reduce patient transfer to help ease burden on higher levels of care during the COVID-19 pandemic when communities are under social distancing or lockdown restrictions.
 
The remote medical examination and treatment operate on a digital information and communication technology named Telehealth developed by Viettel Group to access health care services remotely. Through the scheme, grassroots health facilities will be provided periodical or immediate virtual consultation from provincial and central levels of care.
 
Accordingly, higher-level health facilities will organize online periodical sessions to promptly provide counseling and support in medical examination and treatment. It can help grassroots hospitals with accurate diagnosis of severe cases and optimal treatment consultation.
 
As soon as the project 2628 was approved, Khanh Hoa General Hospital and Khanh Hoa Hospital of Tropical Diseases signed a remote healthcare network with central hospitals, including Central Dental Hospital, Hue Central Hospital and National Hospital of Tropical Diseases and the network is expected to expand to connect with other central-level hospitals in the coming time.
 
3 district-level health facilities in Khanh Hoa Province chosen to implement the project include Dien Khanh District Medical Center, Khanh Son District Medical Center and Ninh Hoa General Hospital. Viettel Khanh Hoa is providing free Telehealth installation for the 3 health facilities.
 
When Telehealth installation and connection with Khanh Hoa General Hospital completes, the project is expected to start this October, focusing on diagnosis and treatment consultation for severe cases in order to promote professional capacities of grassroots health facilities. Then, Khanh Hoa Department of Health will expand the project to other health facilities based on actual situations.
 
The Telehealth is expected to bring great benefits to locals, including making high quality health care services at provincial and central levels accessible to rural or remote communities; making the services more readily available and convenient; and helping reduce travel cost and time while still having access to medical specialists at provincial and central levels for health care, treatment and counseling.
 
However, challenges when implementing the project include lack of financial mechanism for scheme activities, specifically, costs related to information technology application not yet included in health insurance; health insurance coverage regulations at grassroots facilities for prescriptions exceeding insurance amounts, etc. The Ministry of Health and Vietnam Social Insurance should have solutions to the challenges soon to ensure high effectiveness of the remote health care network scheme, says PhD, Dr. Le Tan Phung, Vice-Director of Khanh Hoa Health Department.
 
Thao Ly
 
Translated by N.T