A review of Vietnam’s healthcare reform through the Direction of Healthcare Activities (DOHA)
Takashima et al. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
A review of Vietnam's healthcare reform through the Direction of Healthcare Activities (DOHA)
Kyoko Takashima 0 3
Koji Wada 0 1
Ton Thanh Tra 2
Derek R. Smith 4
0 Equal contributors
1 Bureau of International Health Cooperation, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, 1-21-1 Toyama, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8655 , Japan
2 Department of Quality Management, Cho Ray Hospital , Ho Chi Minh City , Vietnam
3 JICA Project for Strengthening Medical Services in Northwest Provinces , Hanoi , Vietnam
4 College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University , Townsville , Australia
Objective: This article provides a comprehensive review of the healthcare reform process driven by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health's Direction of Healthcare Activities (DOHA) scheme. Methods: We reviewed policy documents relating to DOHA, along with historical literature and background information describing its formation. Results: DOHA (Chỉ đạo tuyến in Vietnamese) literally means guidance line or level in English. It requires healthcare facilities at higher government administration levels to support those at lower levels (the four levels being central, provincial, district, and commune), to help lower level hospitals to provide medical services for local communities in primary care settings and reduce the number of patients in higher level (central and provincial) hospitals. Since the 1990s, there have been too many patients attending higher level hospitals, and DOHA has therefore focused on technical skills transfer training to help alleviate this situation. Designated core central hospitals now provide technical skills transfer to provincial hospitals. Professional technical lists for each level of health facility have enabled strong commitment and proactive ownership of the process of training management in both higher and lower level hospitals. Conclusion: The DOHA scheme has accelerated the necessary up-skilling of healthcare at lower level public hospitals across Vietnam. These reforms are highly relevant for other countries with limited healthcare resources.
Direction of Healthcare Activities (DOHA); Health system; Quality; Referral; Vietnam
Alongside rapid economic development, the health
status of people in Vietnam has significantly improved in
recent years, with the life expectancy at birth increasing
from 71 years in 1990 to 76 years in 2015 [
mortality rates (under 5 years of age) decreased from 58
deaths per 1000 live births in 1990 to 18 in 2015 [
and the proportion of under-five-year-olds who were
underweight decreased from 37% in 1993 to 14% in
]. However, wide disparities remain in core
health indicators between rural and urban residents,
across different regions, and among population groups
. Disease patterns in contemporary Vietnam are
changing, with the main societal health problems
shifting from maternal and child care and infectious diseases
to non-communicable diseases and traffic-related
]. Vietnam also has one of the most rapidly aging
populations in the world [
], with an increasing
demand for quality healthcare services and new issues
likely to emerge in the health sector in future years .
The country’s government is now being forced to
consider not only a plan for developing healthcare
manpower and improving health infrastructure such as
facilities and equipment, but also for better management
of limited healthcare resources and reforming health
financing to improve overall efficiency [
The healthcare workforce in Vietnam is currently
insufficient to meet manpower norms and practical needs [
the number of physicians in 2015 (around eight per 10,000
] being quite low when compared to other
countries in Southeast Asia [
]. Healthcare resources should
be appropriately distributed to meet needs [
], but there is
currently an imbalanced distribution of human resources
and a shortage of manpower in Vietnam, especially of highly
specialized physicians in fields such as cancer, palliative care,
and mental health [
]. Mountainous and remote areas
have severe shortages of healthcare workers , with the
number of physicians per population in the North West,
Central Highland, and Mekong Delta Regions being lower
than the national average [
]. Most healthcare workers in
remote areas manage with a shortage of medical equipment
and training. They have limited opportunities to use
advanced diagnosis and treatment methods and maintain and
improve their professional ability [
]. The quality of
healthcare services is therefore lower in remote areas than more
Healthcare facilities in Vietnam are divided into four levels
by administrative structure: central (Level I); provincial
(Level II), covering a population of 1–2 million; district
(Level III), covering 100,000–200,000; and commune (Level
IV), covering around 5000–10,000 [
]. This structure is set
out in Article 81 of Chapter VIII of the 2009 Law on
Examination and Treatment [
], which covers the organizational
system of medical examination and treatment
establishments. Level I hospitals include central hospitals owned by
the Ministry of Health and city hospitals owned by
municipalities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Level II, III,
and IV hospitals are owned by local provincial governments,
such as the people’s committee responsible for allocating
finance and human resources. The provincial or district
health department is responsible for their professional
management under the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.
The healthcare system has a mixture of public and
private provision. The number of private hospitals is
increasing, but as of 2014, only 6% of all healthcare
facilities were privately owned [
]. Private hospitals,
however, now provide more than 60% of outpatient
services and have become an important component of the
national health system [
]. A health insurance system
was introduced in 1993, and the government has made a
considerable effort to achieve universal coverage,
reaching 77% of the population in 2015 [
]. Recently, the
government has announced a target of 90% health
insurance coverage by 2020 [
]. Reform of the
organizational structure of healthcare at all levels is
currently underway, as set out in the master plan for
Vietnam’s health system development to 2025 [
]. The plan
explains that having too many facilities can create
instability and inconsistency, especially at the grassroots
level. It also leads to a shortage of human resources,
increased administrative expenditure, and the decreased
effectiveness of health services.
Having too many patients in higher level hospitals has
become an urgent problem in recent years, with two to
three patients sharing a bed becoming common in many
central and provincial hospitals [
]. Bed occupancy
rates have reached 120–160%, especially in the central
hospitals of some large cities [
]. Overcrowding in
higher level healthcare facilities may have several causes,
including limited healthcare quality in lower level
facilities in districts and communes, and even in provincial
hospitals; increasing expectations of service quality;
improvement in convenience of transportation from
remote areas to central areas; and limited differences in
hospital fees at different administrative levels [
may lead to a drain on resources in higher level hospitals
and subsequent wastage at lower levels. If the current
situation is not improved, this situation will eventually
result in major inefficiencies across the entire
Vietnamese health care system.
The Ministry of Health in Vietnam has managed
healthcare provision through a system known as the
Direction of Healthcare Activities (DOHA) since 1961
]. This system requires health facilities at higher
administrative levels to support those at lower levels
to enable them to deliver medical services for local
communities in primary care settings. The contents
of DOHA have been modified and adjusted over time
based on the need for medical care, but the word
“DOHA” has been retained in the context of medical
care reform [
]. DOHA currently focuses on
reducing the burden on higher level hospitals, particularly
central hospitals, which still have too many patients
seeking health care. The healthcare system in
Vietnam is not well known outside the country and
information regarding DOHA is rarely available in
English, and as such, the aim of this article was to
review the health reform process through the DOHA
scheme in contemporary Vietnam.
We reviewed appropriate policy documents setting out the
concept of DOHA, the historical background and
information regarding the formation of DOHA. One of the authors
(KT) is bilingual (Vietnamese and English) and spent several
years working on a project to enhance DOHA activities with
staff from the Ministry of Health, Vietnam, funded by the
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). During this
project, a number of official documents were translated into
English. The JICA project also supported provincial
hospitals in the northwestern part of Vietnam to obtain basic data
on the number of patients referred from district hospitals
and to central hospitals, to monitor the situation.
DOHA (or Chỉ đạo tuyến in Vietnamese) literally means
guidance line or level in English. The term DOHA has
been used as the English translation for some time, and
documents translated by the Ministry of Health
commonly use phrases such as “Technical Direction” or
“Giving guidance to hospitals at lower levels,” with
further explanations including “regional medical guidance
activities” and “guidance and support from higher to
lower level hospitals”.
The DOHA has two major missions [
1. To build a sound collaboration network and support
system among health facilities, particularly those at
higher and lower levels, to help ensure equity of
health and deliver quality healthcare services to all
2. To address the burden of too many patients in
higher level centers. This means supporting
improvements in the quality of healthcare services
provided at lower levels, particularly training and
technical skills transfer activities to improve trust
and respond to social demands.
DOHA has recently focused on technology transfer
training from central to provincial hospitals to help
alleviate the excessive numbers of patients in provincial
or district hospitals. So, DOHA covers collaboration
activities among hospitals at different levels [
Laws and regulations related to DOHA
The concept behind DOHA first appeared in Vietnam as
one of the five tasks for hospitals in 1961 and since then,
DOHA has been clarified in hospital regulations in 1969,
1971, and 1978 as an important hospital activity [
1997, regulations set out that DOHA was one of the
seven tasks of hospitals and its organizational structure
was also clarified [
]. In 1998, the Minister of Health
identified Bach Mai Hospital, the central hospital in
northern Vietnam, located in Hanoi, as a pilot hospital
for a trial implementation of DOHA [
]. Bach Mai
Hospital set up a DOHA department, staffed by two
medical doctors, and strengthened its training provision
to lower level hospitals [
]. Since then, more
practical and detailed regulations for DOHA have been
developed. Table 1 shows the six current areas of DOHA
based on Decision 4026/QD-BYT in 2010 [
Central hospitals (Level I) have a DOHA center and
training center. These draw on the functional capacity of
these healthcare facilities and play a key role in
coordination and management of DOHA across specialties at
both the central hospitals and in hospitals in the
provincial DOHA network. The concept of DOHA has
developed to promote the sharing of roles and improved
collaboration among healthcare facilities, to improve the
quality of medical services.
Table 2 shows the laws and regulations related to
DOHA, which have changed over time [
]. DOHA was
defined as one of the seven responsibilities of hospitals
in the hospital regulation of 1997, the others being
medical service, staff training, scientific research, prevention
activities, international cooperation, and hospital
management. In 2004, according to the “Instructions for
strengthening DOHA activities in medical services,” the
purpose of DOHA was to demonstrate the fulfillment of
medical services for local people and guarantee equitable
healthcare. The instructions included the importance of
establishment of DOHA networks, covering central,
provincial, district, and commune levels, and concrete
implementation procedures such as planning and approval
processes for DOHA and its budget. In 2009, the Law
on Examination and Treatment stated that provision of
guidance and support for use of medical technology to
lower levels was part of the responsibilities of higher
level hospitals [
The Vietnamese Minister of Health also signed Decision
No. 1816/QD-BYT, in 2008, on the project “Dispatching
healthcare workers from higher-level hospitals to support
lower-level hospitals with the aim of improving quality of
examination and treatment” [
]. By the end of 2009, one
and a half years after its initial implementation, an average
reduction of 30% in overcrowding at higher level facilities
had been observed [
]. However, bypassing lower level
facilities is still relatively common and many people still seek
care at provincial and central hospitals to treat diseases
that could easily be handled at the district or even
commune level [
]. This bypassing leads to an increased
burden on high-level facilities and under-utilization of services
at lower levels, causing unnecessary waste across the whole
system. This project was further supported, and staff
rotation strengthened, by Decision No. 5068/QD-BYT (Table 2)
in 2012, which regulates the content of some training and
technical skills transfer as well as supporting the Satellite
Hospital Project [
Project for hospital overload reduction (2013–2020)
In 2013, the Vietnamese Prime Minister set out targets
to be achieved by the year 2020. The target for the bed
occupancy rate of central hospitals in Hanoi and Ho Chi
Minh City (which exceeded 120%) was set at 100% or
less; and district and provincial hospitals were expected
to achieve occupancy rates of 80% [
]. There was also a
limit set for the number of patients per day seen by each
doctor, to reduce patient waiting times. This decision
indicates a commitment to address patient numbers
comprehensively. There have been a number of projects to
support this, including improvements in hospital
facilities to increase the number of beds, introduction of
family doctors, strengthening of primary healthcare and
preventive medicine, and improved health education and
Survey the current situation at lower levels in terms of material facilities, equipment, human resources,
professional capacity, training needs, technical exchange and others, supporting demands from lower levels.
Build up and organize DOHA activity implementation for lower levels.
Check the implementation process of professional regulations and the technical progress of lower levels.
Provide feedback from referred patients, plus timely updates on current technical and professional errors,
special diagnosis cases, and lessons learnt.
Technical assistance given to lower level facilities upon request.
Coordinate with lower levels to build up a referral system across the assigned area.
Coordinate with higher levels in the implementation of DOHA activities in the field of medical services.
Organize training and technical skills transfer courses for healthcare workers at lower level healthcare facilities.
Support healthcare professionals from lower levels to practice and improve their professional skills at
higher level facilities.
Receive training and technical skills transfer support from higher levels.
Implement scientific research on professional knowledge and management of DOHA activities.
Coordinate with higher levels and instruct lower levels in implementing scientific research activities.
Coordinate with higher levels and instruct lower levels to implement community-oriented activities like
primary healthcare services, environment protection, prevention of epidemic diseases, and national healthcare
Be ready to support lower level hospitals in the event of any disaster or social problems.
Coordinate higher and lower levels to organize meetings, regular activities to draw out professional
lessons, preliminary review, and final review for DOHA activities.
Assist the Ministry of Health in giving direction for professional knowledge, national professional and
specialized network system development plan, and also coordinate with hospitals which have DOHA
Build up training courses and implement them to help lower levels to develop their professional techniques
and specialties to improve quality of emergency aid, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Build plans and give direction to healthcare services at lower level facilities to implement national and
Check, monitor, and evaluate professional and technical activities of lower level facilities.
Organize annual review and summary, making regular and ad hoc reports on the results of DOHA activities
nationwide to Ministry of Health.
DOHA Direction of Healthcare Activities
promotion activities for local people. DOHA-related
policy documents published in 2013 based on this prime
ministerial decision were designed to further improve
the feasibility of technical transfer activities under
DOHA. Technical skills transfer training under DOHA
is based on a standard list of medical technologies that
can be implemented at each level in the Ministry of
Health circular on “Professional technical lists for each
level of health facilities (43/TT-BYT)” [
]. The list
consists of 28 clinical fields with 17,216 medical
technologies and specifies medical technologies required at each
]. Lower level hospitals that have received
technology transfer training from higher level hospitals must
submit documents such as training completion reports
to the provincial Department of Health to obtain official
approval and a license to introduce the new technologies
or procedures. These activities call for strong
commitment and proactive ownership of the process of training
management from both higher and lower level hospitals.
Satellite Hospital Project (2013–2020)
The Satellite Hospital Project (2013–2020) evolved from
the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s target to reduce the
number of patients in higher level hospitals [
project aims to upgrade the technical capacity for
examination and treatment in provincial hospitals designated
as satellite hospitals through technical skills transfer by
central or core hospitals. This project is expected to
reduce the number of patients referred from provincial to
central hospitals and alleviate the subsequent overload
at central hospitals. Satellite and core hospitals are
required to set out a development plan covering facilities,
medical equipment, and human resources. The first
phase of the project covered 2013 to 2015, and the
second phase from 2016 to 2020. Five specialties with very
high bed occupancy rates were prioritized in the first
phase: oncology, traumatology, cardiology, obstetrics,
and pediatrics. During 2016–2020, more specialties will
be added, including endocrinology, neurology, intensive
care, hematology, and infection control [
The main elements of the project are:
1. To formulate and develop a network of satellite
hospitals. The first phase, from 2013 to 2015,
prioritized investment in 48 provincial hospitals as
satellites of 14 core hospitals (eight owned by the
Ministry of Health and six under the Department of
Health Service of Ho Chi Minh City);
2. To enhance the examination and treatment capacity
of satellite hospitals via training, technical skills
transfer, and tele-consultations using information
3. To invest in core and satellite hospitals to improve
manpower, facilities, medical equipment, referral
means, and information technology to ensure
effective and sustainable transfer of techniques.
Satellite hospitals are expected to perform and
maintain the new techniques by themselves. They
are also expected not to refer patients to core
hospitals for these techniques except where they
have insufficient capacity.
Referral of patients based on DOHA
In Vietnam, the term “referral” means patient referred
from lower to higher level healthcare facilities [
Referral activity is part of DOHA, and therefore the referral
process is managed by hospitals’ DOHA departments.
Patient referral is a process to manage the issue that
healthcare staff at lower levels often have insufficient
resources (facilities, equipment, and diagnosis and
treatment capacity) to manage patients’ clinical conditions.
The Ministry of Health defines referral activities as any
activities including “patient referral activity and
management of patient referral information among health
facilities.” This is also covered by the Ministry of Health
Circular 14/TT-BYT in 2014 on regulation on referral
among health facilities [
]. Patient referral among
healthcare facilities takes into account the technical
capacity of each healthcare facility, based on the standard
lists of medical technologies.
One of the expected outcomes is reducing the number
of patients referred to higher level hospitals, together
with improved outcomes of treatment at all levels. Some
provincial hospitals have collected the number of
patients referred from district hospitals and to central
hospitals. Table 3 shows the trends in Yen Bai provincial
hospital, about 150 km to the northwest of Hanoi, the
capital city of Vietnam, serving a population of 771,000
]. The number of patients referred from Yen Bai
provincial hospital to higher level hospitals in Hanoi steadily
increased from 2010 to 2012. After the implementation
of the strengthened DOHA activities from 2013, the
level of referrals remained stable. Slightly fewer patients
were examined in the provincial hospital during 2013.
We reviewed the health reform process through DOHA
in Vietnam. Within the framework of DOHA, there have
been various activities and regulatory interventions over
the past 50 years. To continue the improvement of the
quality of care in hospitals, higher level of hospitals
could take initiatives for technical transfer to lower level
hospitals via the regulatory framework.
There have also been additional advantages of DOHA.
It has, for example, improved the relationships between
higher and lower level hospitals by promoting mutual
understanding among staff. This will facilitate
communication about patients and help to avoid unnecessary
transfers. Collaboration among different level hospitals
is part of DOHA’s mission [
]. DOHA also encouraged
district and provincial hospitals to look at their own
hospital services more critically and start thinking about
how to improve the health service and provide more
patient-centered care, as well as focusing on investment
in applying new medical technologies themselves,
through DOHA’s technical transfer program [
A limitation of DOHA has been difficulties in
identifying the impact of DOHA activities. Various other factors,
such as economic and infrastructural development, may
have led to an increase in demand for sophisticated
medical care and subsequent improvements in access to
higher level hospitals. Despite DOHA’s effort, it may be
difficult to expect an immediate reduction in the
number of patients being referred to higher level hospitals, as
shown in Table 3. However, monitoring the number of
patients being referred to higher level hospitals will be
necessary to help plan which areas of clinical training
should be undertaken through DOHA.
Although DOHA includes technical transfer training for
medical doctors, training for managers and other
healthcare providers should also be expanded. It was previously
considered that nursing practice is simple enough for each
provincial hospital to improve the quality of nursing by
themselves. However, in order to deliver high-quality
patient-centered care, all health professionals should be
educated as members of an interdisciplinary team with
professional communication and team collaboration.
Training programs in patient safety, infection control, and
nursing management (issues which are relatively recent in
Vietnam) have now been conducted through DOHA and
have included nurses and other health care workers. In the
future, DOHA is expected to place more emphasis on
these issues and provide greater opportunities to share
good practice in Vietnamese healthcare.
DOHA is the system in Vietnam requiring healthcare
facilities at higher administrative levels to support their
lower level counterparts to improve the quality of
healthcare services provided to all Vietnamese citizens.
Since the 1990s, there have been too many patients
using higher level hospitals, and DOHA has therefore
focused on technical skills transfer training. The DOHA
scheme has accelerated the necessary up-scaling of
medical technologies across the country from higher to
lower administrative levels. This system is highly
applicable to other countries with limited healthcare resources
wishing to improve the quality of healthcare services.
DOHA: Direction of Healthcare Activities; MOH: Ministry of Health
We appreciate the continued efforts of all Vietnamese healthcare providers
in improving the quality of healthcare through DOHA.
This study was partly funded by the research fund of National Center for
Global Health and Medicine (28-7). The funders had no role in the study
design, data collection and analysis, the decision to publish, or preparation
of the manuscript.
Availability of data and materials
KT and KW were responsible for conceiving and designing the study,
reviewing the policy, drafting and finalizing the manuscript, and manuscript
revision. TTT was responsible for checking the context and actual activities of
DOHA in Vietnam. DS revised and edited the manuscript. All authors read
and approved the final manuscript.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Consent for publication
The authors declare that they have no competing interests
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in
published maps and institutional affiliations.
1. United Nations Development Programme . Human development report 2016 human development for everyone Viet Nam . http://hdr.undp.org/sites/ all/themes/hdr_theme/country-notes/fr/VNM.pdf Accessed 9 July 2017 .
2. The United Nations Inter-agency Group for Estimation Child Mortality. Levels & trends in child mortality . 2017 . http://www.childmortality. org/files_v21/download/ IGME%20report%202017%20child%20mortality%20final.pdf. Accessed 25 Oct 2017 .
3. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Viet Nam-food and nutrition security profiles . 2014 . http://www.fao. org/3/a-at704e.pdf Accessed 15th Sept 2017 .
4. Ministry of Health Vietnam. For people's health protection, care and promotion 2016- 2020 . 2016 . http://www.euhf.vn/upload/ Strategicdocuments/82. MOH 5 -year plan (Eng) . pd. Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
5. Bui LN , Nguyen NT , Tran LK , Vos T , Norman R , Nguyen HT . Risk factors of burden of disease: a comparative assessment study for evidence-based health policy making in Vietnam . Lancet . 2013 ; 381 : S23 .
6. Government of Vietnam. Law on medical examination and treatment; 2009 . http://www.moj.gov.vn/vbpq/en/lists/vn%20bn% 20php %20lut/view_detail. aspx?itemid=10471 Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
7. United Nations Population Fund . The ageing population in Viet Nam: current status, prognosis, and possible policy responses . 2011 . http://vietnam.unfpa. org/en/publications/ageing-population -viet-nam-current-status-prognosis-andpossible-policy-responses Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
8. Kanchanachitra C , Lindelow M , Johnston T , Hanvoravongchai P , Lorenzo FM , Huong NL , et al. Human resources for health in southeast Asia: shortages, distributional challenges, and international trade in health services . Lancet . 2011 ; 377 : 769 - 81 .
9. Smith DR . Public health centres in contemporary Japan . Public Health . 2009 ; 123 : 196 - 7 . author reply 198
10. Krakauer EL , Cham NTP , Khue LN . Vietnam's palliative care initiative: successes and challenges in the first five years . J Pain Symptom Manag . 2010 ; 40 : 27 - 30 .
11. Vuong DA , Van Ginneken E , Morris J , Ha ST , Busse R . Mental health in Vietnam: burden of disease and availability of services . Asian J Psychiatr 2011 ; 4 : 65 - 70 .
12. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Health at a glance Asia/Pacific 2016 . http://www.oecd-ilibrary. org/docserver/download/ 8116191e.pdf Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
13. Le D-C , Kubo T , Fujino Y , Pham T-M , Matsuda S. Health care system in Vietnam: current situation and challenges . Asian Pacific J Dis Manag . 2010 ; 4 : 23 - 30 .
14. Ministry of Health, Vietnam. Health statistical yearbook 2014 . Vietnam; 2016 .
15. Oanh TTM , Phuong HT , Phuong NK , Tuan KA , Thuy NT , Mai VL et al. Study on current situation assessment and recommended solution to strengthening public private partnership in Vietnam health sector . http://en. hspi.org. vn/vclen/CURRENT-SITUATION-ASSESSMENT-AND-RECOMMENDEDSOLUTIONS-TO-STRENGTHEN-PUBLIC-PRIVATE-PARTNERSHIP%2D-INHEALTH- SECTOR-t15973-7977.html Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
16. Vietnam news. Gov't targets 90% health insurance coverage . Hanoi; 2016 ; http://vietnamnews.vn/society/298859/govt-targets-90 - health-insurancecoverage. html#CrrSGkXUzEhjEZi3.97. Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
17. Nguyen TK , Cheng TM . Vietnam's health care system emphasizes prevention and pursues universal coverage . Health Aff . 2014 ; 33 : 2057 - 63 .
18. Ministry of Health Vietnam, Japan International Cooperation Agency. Handbook for guideline on DOHA activities in the field of medical services: Hong Duc Publishing House; 2017 .
19. Ministry of Health Vietnam, Japan International Cooperation Agency. Training material on strengthening referral capacity in medical service and relevant contents . 2013 . https://kcb.vn/vanban/tai-lieu -dao-tao-tang-cuongnang-luc-chi-dao-tuyen Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
20. Ohara H , Ikari K. Introduction of the community health direction in tertiary medical institution―a trial in the Bach Mai hospital project for functional enhancement in Vietnam― . Technol Dev . 2002 ; 16 : 32 - 8 .
21. Ministry of Health Vietnam. Decision on satellite hospital project ( 2013 - 2020 ). 2013 . https://kcb.vn/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/De-an -benh-vienve- tinh- 2013 -2020.pdf. Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
22. Ministry of Health Vietnam. Regulation on referral among health facilities . 2014 . https://kcb.vn/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/g2. -Tài-li u-đào-tạo-Tăngcư ng-năng-l c-ch -đạo-tuy n . pdf Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
23. Ministry of Health Vietnam. Professional technical lists for each level of health facilities . 2013 . http://vanban.chinhphu.vn/portal/page/portal/ chinhphu/hethongvanban?class_ id=1&mode=detail&document_id=171569 Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .
24. Ministry of Health Vietnam. Approval on additional priority special fields and list of participants in Satellite Hospital Project, 2016 - 2020 (Phase 2) . 1303/ QĐ-BYT 2016 . Accessed 15 Sept 2017 .