Vietnam beats China, South Africa in new healthcare ranking

By Ha Phuong   April 19, 2017 | 10:38 am GMT+7

The country topped the list in the Health Governance Capacity Index (HGCI) by Brookings Institution.

The HGCI aims at effectively utilizing private investment in healthcare research and development by measuring low and middle income economies’ governance health capacity in a set of five dimensions: health management capacity, health policies, health regulations, health infrastructure and financing, and health systems.

“Vietnam did very well in the study,” said Darrell West, one of the authors of the report.

The country got the best performance in health system, scoring 19 out of 20, surpassing China and far distancing itself from Southeast Asian peer Indonesia. Nurses and midwives as well as physicians were the contributors to this high score.

Its weaknesses are in the government’s health management capacity and infrastructure.

Healthcare investment in Vietnam mostly comes from the public sector. To attract greater private sector investment, the country should improve transparency, make policy reforms and undertake regulatory reviews designed, the report said.

Vietnam has a growing population, which requires better and more effective health services.

West recommended Vietnamese leaders seek to improve its medical facilities, diagnostic systems and medical service delivery systems. These kinds of improvements will build confidence among private investors and create a climate where investors feel their financing will yield benefits.

Vietnam's high position in this ranking may come as a surprise for many, considering the amount of criticism directed at the healthcare system over the years. But the ranking does not simply reflect the current state, but looks at the potential of improvement brought by research and development.