Workshop: Grassroot Telemedicine – Phase 2 Results and Future Planning

Posted June 23, 2022

Mr. Patrick Haverman, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Viet Nam, delivered opening remarks at the workshop “Grassroot Telemedicine – Phase 2 Results and Future Planning".

UNDP Viet Nam

Your Excellency, Mr. Nguyen Truong Nam – Deputy Director General of Electronic Health Administration of MOH;

Leaders and officials from Administrations and Departments of Ministry of Health and from Provincial Departments of Health of Ha Giang, Bac Kan and Lang Son provinces;

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my honor to speak at this workshop to disseminate the results of Phase 2 of the Grassroots Digital Telehealth Programme using the software “Doctor for Everyone” to improve the capacity of the healthcare system at the local level in Viet Nam, which has now been applied in all districts and communes of 03 mountainous provinces, namely Ha Giang, Bac Kan and Lang Son.

At the outset, I would like to congratulate the Government of Viet Nam, and in particular the health system, on the national response to COVID-19 including prevention and control of outbreaks and rapid and successful implementation of the largest ever national vaccination campaign, making Viet Nam one of 6 countries with the highest COVID-19 vaccination coverage rate in the world.

UNDP is proud to be working closely with the Government, the Ministry of Health and other partners to support Viet Nam’s response to COVID-19 with the dual objectives of protecting people’s health and sustaining and recovering the economy.

I am also very pleased to share with you that based on consultations with the Ministry of Health and the Administration of Science, Technology and Training on the development of national production of COVID-19 vaccines, UNDP has mobilized financial resources from the Government of Japan to support Viet Nam’s overall strategy to become a key regional producer and supplier of vaccines developed using the new mRNA technology. I would like to congratulate Viet Nam on being selected as one of eleven nations and the POLYVAC Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals of the Ministry of Health on being selected as one of fifteen vaccine producers worldwide to receive the mRNA technology transfer from the World Health Organization.

UNDP is working the Administration of Science, Technology and Training, POLYVAC and other relevant stakeholders to send local experts overseas to receive specialized training for mRNA technology transfer. UNDP is also following up on requests from the Ministry of Health regarding support on health procurement in general, and on ARVs in particular, through UNDP’s proven, transparent and quality assured global procurement capacity and long-term agreements with ARV suppliers.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Industrial Revolution 4.0, UNDP places strong importance on supporting Viet Nam’s National Digital Transformation Roadmap to 2025 and vision to 2030, including digital transformation of health.

Since December 2020, UNDP has cooperated closely with the Electronic Health Administration of the Ministry of Health and with Ha Giang, Bac Kan and Lang Son provinces to develop and pilot a digital solution focusing on the grassroots health facilities to connect healthcare workers at commune health stations with higher levels of the provincial health service to provide consultation and guidance to commune doctors, improving the quality of local health services. The digital telehealth software also includes a free smartphone application to connect local people in remote and mountainous areas including ethnic minorities and people with disabilities to the commune health station, with a focus on leaving no-one behind.

I would also like to thank the Provincial Departments of Health of Ha Giang, Bac Kan and Lang Son provinces for their high commitment and active follow up to work with UNDP and the Electronic Health Administration of the Ministry of Health to implement the “Doctor for Everyone” software in all districts and communes of their three provinces.

The “Doctor for everyone” software also includes a secure video conferencing platform for multi-point calls to support regular meetings between district health centres, district general hospitals and commune health stations. The “Doctor for everyone” software complements the existing telehealth program connecting national hospitals with provincial and some district hospitals, which is also led by the Ministry of Health.

The “Doctor for everyone” software contributes to the implementation of Viet Nam’s National Digital Transformation Roadmap. And it is fully aligned with the strategy and direction of the Government of Viet Nam and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on upgrading and strengthening the capacity of the health system at all levels, especially the capacity of the grassroots healthcare system at the commune level for early detection and treatment, including the use of telehealth.

On 16 November 2021, UNDP also cooperated with the Ministry of Health and the Electronic Health Administration to organize a workshop chaired by Vice-Minister Do Xuan Tuyen to introduce the grassroots digital “Doctor for everyone” telehealth solution to all provinces.

Building on this initial success, to continue supporting the digital transformation of health in the COVID-19 and Industrial Revolution 4.0 context, UNDP has mobilized additional financial resources through two further projects to support MOH and provinces to scale up the grassroots digital “Doctor for everyone” telehealth solution.

These include the project ‘COVID-19 Response for Strengthening Vaccine Access and Health System Capacity’, supported by the Government of Japan from March 2022 to March 2023, and the Korea – Viet Nam Peace Village project supported by Government of Korea from 2022 to 2026.

Through these projects, UNDP in close collaboration with Ministry of Health will support to replicate the software “Doctor for everyone” application in five new provinces including Thua Thien – Hue, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Ca Mau and Dak Lak, with the ultimate aim of supporting the development of a nationwide grassroots telehealth system.

On this occasion, I would like to strongly affirm UNDP’s readiness to deepen our strategic partnership and cooperation with the Ministry of Health, contributing to the development of the health sector in Viet Nam, with a particular focus on the healthcare system at the grassroots level.

I am confident that working together, our joint efforts will contribute to a more resilient and prosperous country, where no one is left behind.

Thank you! Xin cam on!