Health workers must improve behavior toward patients: Vietnam health minister



Health workers in Vietnam should cultivate a habit to send greetings to their patients, smile at them, give them regards, and offer them help when necessary, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has said.

Minister Tien listed these manners during an online conference with the participation of the representatives of about 700 hospitals across the country on Wednesday, during which she launched a campaign to request all health workers to behave nicely and properly toward their patients all the time.


Three years ago, the ministry also initiated a similar campaign to improve the professional ethics and service attitude of health workers when taking care of their patients.


However, that campaign has yet to yield good results as expected, according to the ministry.


For example, Lu Thi Phong, 29, of the northern province of Hoa Binh, said that a month ago, she took her six-month-old baby to the National Hospital of Pediatrics in Hanoi as a transfer from another hospital of a lower level, where doctors said the baby had a brain problem.


However, doctors at the Hanoi infirmary diagnosed the baby with bronchitis and asked the girl to be hospitalized, Phong said.


The hospital discharged the baby the next morning and Phong requested the treating doctor to allow her baby to stay on for better recovery and a brain examination.


The doctor then stormed at her and insisted that the baby come out.


“The doctor shouted at me, ‘Why do you demand so much?’” Phong recounted. 


At yesterday’s conference, Minister Tien said that health workers’ behavior toward their patients must be improved.


She insisted that health workers be hearty and helpful to their patients.


“Health workers should say thanks to their patients, deal with them gently, send them regards, and be ready to assist them,” the minister told the conference.


She noted that the Phu Tho Province General Hospital in northern Vietnam has enforce a regulation, requiring that those staff members displaying bad behavior toward their patients have their salary grade lowered.  


At Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, all health workers are required to sign a commitment paper saying that they will try their best to please their patients.


Minister Tien also said the color of the uniforms of health workers must be changed to avoid confusion.


The ministry will issue a circular to stipulate the different colors of the uniforms of the employees of each department in a hospital, she said. 


She elaborated that white will be for doctors and blue for nurses, adding that employees in administrative sections should wear uniforms having a color that makes them look dynamic.

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