Vietnam, US collaborating in improving quality of continuing medical education

A Vietnamese professor has laid emphasis on continuing medical education, considering it an essential part of the national strategy to improve the capacity of health care workers in Vietnam

This file photo shows a Vietnamese doctor examining a child patient at the Pediatrics Hospital 1 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and its American partners are cooperating to set up a national accreditation system that certifies the quality of continuing medical education (CME) for medical professionals.

The cooperation was reflected in a two-day seminar that opened in Hanoi on Thursday, drawing the attendance of more than 40 staff members from the ministry, hospitals, and universities nationwide, according to a press release issued the same day by the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. 

CME is an essential part of the national strategy to improve the capacity of health care workers in Vietnam, Professor Nguyen Cong Khan, director of the Administration of Science Technology and Training (ASTT), under the MOH, told the seminar.

Under Vietnam’s Law on Medical Examination and Treatment that was adopted in 2009, all medical professionals are required to have 48 hours of CME every two years to maintain their professional license.

“CME is also one of the key factors in ensuring the quality and uniformity of human resources, which translates to equity and quality in health care services,” Professor Khan said, adding that CME accreditation is something that Vietnam has never done before.

This workshop offered an opportunity to learn from the president of the U.S. Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), Professor Murray Kopelow, and other American colleagues about CME accreditation so Vietnam can kick off the implementation of this important work soon, the professor said.

Speaking at the event, Dr. Todd Pollack, Country Director of Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam (HAIVN), said, “All health care professionals need access to high quality CME in order to remain up-to-date in their field.”

In recent years, the Vietnamese health ministry has made important strides toward establishing a national CME system and HAIVN is proud to support ASTT in their efforts to set up a system of CME accreditation, Dr. Pollack said.

HAIVN is a partner of U.S. CDC and has been working with the MOH to improve medical education of university students and practicing physicians since 2004.

The seminar is organized by ASTT and HAIVN, and supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) and ACCME. 

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