Human resources for health country profiles: Viet Nam

Type Book
Title Human resources for health country profiles: Viet Nam
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Publisher Manila: WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific
Viet Nam is a South-East Asian nation of about 90 million people. Viet Nam is a lower middle-income country with
a gross domestic product (GDP) of about US$ 2000 per capita per year. Its health-care service and management
system is organized into four administrative levels: central, provincial, district and commune.
Viet Nam has achieved some of the Millennium Development Goals such as reducing the maternal mortality ratio
and infant and under-5 mortality rate. Life expectancy at birth is 70 years for men and 76 years for women.
Morbidity and mortality patterns are shifting from communicable to noncommunicable diseases. Viet Nam is also
cooperating effectively with the international community to control emerging diseases such as avian influenza,
severe acute respiratory syndrome and HIV/AIDS.
Human resources for health (HRH) supply
Viet Nam has more than 400 000 health workers in the public sector. Doctors, assistant doctors, nurses and
medical technicians account for 80% of the health workforce. These cadres require a license to practise under
the provisions of the Law on Examination and Treatment (LET) (2011). The density of doctors in Viet Nam is 7.61
per 10 000 people (2013). The nurse-to-doctor ratio has increased from 1.19 in 2008 to 1.34 in 2012.
HRH distribution
While there are more female than male health workers in Viet Nam, 72% of doctors and 83% of specialists are
male. There are more female nurses and midwives (63% and 91%, respectively). Most health workers are under
35 years (49.1%), particularly in health centres (85%). There are fewer health workers in this age group in clinics
The health workforce is unevenly distributed across Viet Nam’s six regions. The South East has the highest health
workforce density while the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands have the lowest density

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