Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Vietnam - Too many doctors, too few good ones: experts
The management and supervision of medical training facilities is inefficient, resulting in an excessive number of future doctors but shortages of qualified ones, experts say. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
The management and supervision of medical training facilities is inefficient, resulting in an excessive number of future doctors but shortages of qualified ones, experts say.
Based on their experience in teaching, they said many universities, especially those training general health and pharmacology practicioners, had substandard facilities such as a shortage of labs. This has restricted practice by students and affected the teaching quality, they added.
Dr Trần Danh Cường, deputy director of the Central Obstetrics Hospital, said last week most training institutes tried to get adequate facilities and teachers when they register for a licence, but their resources often shrinked due to inadequate funding.
Dr Phạm Minh Thông, deputy director of Hà Nội’s Bạch Mai Hospital, said a shortage of lecturers and labs for practice would surely lead to unqualified doctors.
Thông cited Hà Nội’s Medicine University, HCM City’s Medicine and Pharmacy University as having high training quality. These universities are equipped with modern medical tools and skilled doctors as lecturers. Students have an opportunity to practise at central hospitals and thus, the quality of their studies is much improved.
Moreover, the admission of medical students at certain schools has become massive and ineffective. The grades for the 2015-16 academic year published by many universities were quite low compared to the grades of medical students at specialized universities.
While admission to HCM City’s Medicine and Pharmacy University and Hà Nội Medicine University requires grades of 26 to 28 in four subjects, many universities accept a grade as low as 17.
For example, admission at Võ Trường Toản University in southern Hậu Giang Province for general doctors training requires a grade of 20 and 15 for pharmacist training. Hồng Bàng University in Hải Phòng City admissions for nursing and medical technology studies require grades of 15 and 16, respectively.
Figures from the Ministry of Education and Training show that the number of medical universities has increased rapidly, from eight in 2000 to 24 in 2016.
Currently, there are about 180 institutes providing medical staff training nationwide.
Dr Thông, deputy director of Bạch Mai Hospital, said national qualifications must be established for all institutes offering medical training to ensure the quality of the students and future doctors.
These institutes should also have a permanent staff of teachers rather than contract staff.
Labs and experimental hospital models are essential for students, he added.
Nguyễn Thị Kim Phụng, director of the Ministry of Education and Training’s High Education Department said that the ministry drafted circulars to improve the training quality, such as requirements of lecturers, teaching equipment and practice facilities.
The ministry also submitted to the Government the national qualification framework, which stipulates required knowledge and skills that must be mastered at each level. Based on that, universities should adjust their admissions and curriculum.
The ministry has begun inspecting the quality of graduates by requiring universities and training institutes to report on the number of students who get jobs after graduation.
Phụng said the ministry has supported the Ministry of Health in organising a national competition for medical graduates to assure their qualification before they start their jobs.