Together Project HOPE and the Medtronic Philanthropy Global Innovation Fellows program partnered to conduct a health care assessment in the Quang Tri province of Vietnam. The goal of the partnership was to identify solutions that would improve primary care access and quality at the local health clinics, known as “Commune Health Stations.”
Quang Tri is located in north-central Vietnam, and it contains one of the key routes of the East-West Economic Corridor, which connects Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Although Quang Tri is one of the poorest provinces in Vietnam, it has the potential to grow into a major regional economic zone. Quang Tri suffers from droughts and floods. The province is also affected by the legacy of two wars that continue to negatively impact the livelihood of the local people; Quang Tri was one of the heaviest battlefields in the Vietnam War and still suffers from landmines in the former Demilitarized Zone.
Five team members from Medtronic representing Project HOPE conducted 20 meetings with more than 90 stakeholders between October 6 and 17, 2014. After several days of initial meetings, the Medtronic team developed the following problem statement:
“Patients have not consistently received the highest quality of primary care at the Commune Health Stations in Quang Tri Province due to inconsistent levels of health care staff capabilities and a lack of basic medical equipment, which has led to poor patient experiences and an overall mistrust in and inefficient use of the health care system.”
In order to solve these issues, the team recommended the implementation of a “Government Social Franchise Model” within two or three of the Commune Health Stations in Quang Tri Province. Improvements from the implementation of this model are expected to be
- Greater access to quality, affordable health services
- Relief to an overburdened public health system
- Increased trust in health care workers to deliver primary care
- Increased incentives for health providers to deliver high-quality care
- Improved professional development opportunities for health care professionals
- Improved access to financing mechanisms for health care equipment and supplies
The team proposed
- Infrastructure improvements
- Effective staff training
- Equipment improvements
- Inclusion of in-clinic pharmacies to generate revenue for financial sustainablitiy
The health care assessment was presented to key stakeholders in Quang Tri at a closing ceremony. It was well received. And the vice-director of the Quang-Tri Department of Health had this to say about the proposal: “The proposal reflects the real issues we are facing in Quang Tri. They listened carefully to the locals for many many hours. Then they came up with these brilliant ideas with a feasible and impactful design.”
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