Vietnam's public hospitals mostly rated themselves 'average' or closely above in its first ever national scorecard.
National public hospitals rated themselves the best public facilities --scoring 3.18 out of 5.
City/provincial hospitals scored just 2.87 and district facilities just 2.65. Vietnam's private hospitals scored 3.41.
The 83-category criteria was issued by the health ministry last December for hospitals to rank themselves based on patients services, professional activities, human resource development, and quality improvement.
Nguyen Trong Khoa, deputy head of the Treatment and Examination Department at the health ministry, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper the scores help provide a road map to improvement for hospitals.
“Hospitals know where their quality stands and what measures they need to take to improve,” Khoa said.
Khoa said the self-assessment results were pretty accurate as the ministry and city/provincial departments have visited several hospitals and came up with roughly the same marks they gave themselves.
"Hospitals know where their quality stands and what measures they need to take to improve" -- Nguyen Trong Khoa, deputy head of the Treatment and Examination Department at the health ministry. (Photo credit: Tuoi Tre)
He said different groups of hospitals are facing different quality problems.
For example, national hospitals in Hanoi like the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Bach Mai General Hospital and Viet Duc a leading surgery facility have followed international standards and programs to improve their customer service and security.
But they are still plagued by overcrowding, which lengthens patients’ wait times.
Khoa said the criteria suits Vietnam’s conditions and situation better than stricter ones applied in Japan, the UK, the US, France, or even nearby Thailand.
But once local hospitals can fulfill the criteria well, international standards won't be far beyond their reach, he was quoted by Tuoi Tre as saying.
Given the rash of deadly infant reactions to subsidized vaccinations, he said, the ministry plans to add criteria regarding vaccination safety.
Hospitals will also be rated for their ability to respond to outbreaks. Overcrowding at several national hospitals in Hanoi earlier this year was blamed for exacerbating measles outbreaks that infected thousands of children and left more than a hundred dead.