Antibiotic resistance an upward trend in Vietnam

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Re: Antibiotic resistance an upward trend in Vietnam (Thanh Nien Weekly Issue 94, July 15-21)

Antibiotics users aren't at fault for amped-up antibiotic resistance in Vietnam. The management system at local drug stores should take the blame. It's understandable that people would take all possible medications provided to treat their diseases. What's incomprehensible here is that people who are in charge of managing medicine and looking over people's health let people buy medicines without prescriptions, leading to antibiotic resistance.


Why do Vietnamese people buy medicines without prescription? Some noticeable reasons are as follows:

Public hospitals are overcrowded. The attitudes and skills of some doctors and health workers there discourage people from seeking regular examinations and treatment. Patients are afraid that treatment will take time, money, and energy without helping them recover.

Private hospitals, meanwhile, charge high fees. It costs at least VND50,000-100,000 (US$2.42-4.85) to have a check-up there. Not all people have enough time and money to afford such treatment. Not to mention that doctors usually prescribe expensive brand-name medications.

To encourage people to have regular checks-up and take only prescription medication, the Ministry of Health needs to:

- implement health insurance programs that pay out to private clinics so they can share the burden with public hospitals

- enhance the capacity and manners of doctors and health workers

- manage organizations that sell pharmaceuticals as well as health clinics, especially in terms of drug prices and quality

- update people with information about the harms of using antibiotics without prescription

Nu cuoi dep xinh

I think we need to review the hygiene situation at local hospitals, which is very bad, if we look at it from outside. Streets around hospitals are always crowded with noisy and dusty vehicles, while there is very little green space, making the atmosphere very uncomfortable. Street vendors always gather in front of the hospitals' gate. Patients in gowns, doctors, nurses and other health workers in white coats are ready to buy food and eat there during their breaks without caring about the hygienic problems. These are several of many reasons for the lack of cleanliness at hospitals.


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