The Vietnamese government has announced a plan to spend VND5 trillion ($220 million) on an ambitious project to create a nationwide system of electronic medical records.
Under the plan, the government will still issue paper-based records to patients first but these will gradually be replaced by a digital system, built and run by the welfare agency Vietnam Social Security.
The system, which will store personal medical records for all citizens, can be shared by health care providers to save time and money.
Vietnam, like many other developing countries, is dealing with the double burden of infectious and non-infectious diseases, said Luong Ngoc Khue, a senior health official, adding that among non-communicable diseases, cancer has emerged as an alarming problem.
Online personal health records can make it more efficient for doctors to make early diagnosis as well as easily monitor symptoms.
The Vietnamese government has also announced a plan to issue electronic healthcare cards to all citizens to certify their rights to medical services anywhere, according to the government’s online news portal. With the new system, electronic healthcare registries in all 63 cities and provinces will be synced.
Vietnam Social Security is in charge of developing a plan to sync health, social security and unemployment insurance into one single card.