Although health services have improved in recent years, demand still exceeds supply as investors are still not pouring money into the sector, according to the Ministry of Health.
While hospitals in provinces and cities have invested in upgrading and buying modern machines, and improved skills of staff, they still are not meeting the demand of the people, according to Minister of Health Nguyen Quoc begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting Trieu.
The country has more than 13,400 hospitals and health clinics, including more than 1,000 public facilities.
However, around 30,000 Vietnamese people go abroad for check-ups and treatment each year, spending more than US$1 billion.
Pham Le Tuan, head of the Planning Commission and Finance Department under the health ministry, said the total fund for the health sector had increased every year but it was still too low.
The current investment demand for 225 hospitals at the provincial level is VND45 trillion ($2.3 billion). Another VND20 trillion ($1 billion) is needed to develop specialised health hospitals and train doctors as well as nurses.
According to Trieu, the health sector should mobilise capital and develop many methods to attract investment.
A ministry report shows that the country's health sector has attracted 70 foreign direct investment projects with a total capital of nearly $1 billion.
But the sluggish recovery of capital invested in projects is one of the main reasons investors are reluctant to pour money into the sector.
Tuan added that the legislative framework had not been completed, leading to difficulty in attracting investment.
A shortage of human resources is another concern that investors when they make decisions about capital disbursement.
To lure a high level of investment in the near future, the health sector should overhaul the legal framework and make specific plans and policies soon, experts have recommended. — VNS