An international consultation: the development of family medicine in Vietnam

Fam Med. 2004 May;36(5):352-6.


An effective international consultation on health system reform can be approached using the five-step process of establishing goals, conducting a needs assessment, defining objectives, developing methods, and designing evaluation strategies. This structure provided guidance to a consultation we provided to the Ministry of Health, Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) to review its current health care delivery system. The consultation examined all levels of health care delivery and medical education. The SRV has an extensive, but poorly staffed, "commune health center" system. There is a widespread perception that the quality of medical care is low in these health centers. People leave their communities to obtain health care elsewhere at more-specialized levels and more-expensive sites. Our consultation included an analysis of the potential effect of creating a primary health care delivery system based on the model of family medicine. In addition to consulting, part of the time spent in Vietnam was used to advocate for changes in the system to allow for movement toward a primary health care delivery system. The consultation culminated in the creation of the specialty of family medicine and in the establishment of the medical education system to train family physicians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Services / organization & administration
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration
  • Family Practice / education
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Health Planning*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Needs Assessment
  • United States
  • Vietnam