Dr Nguyen Ba My Nhi from Tu Du Obstetrics Hospital said her hospital periodically updates their own guidelines and also uses those created by the Ministry of Health.
Speaking at a conference on the national action plan for maternal, infant and child health held on May 17 in HCM City, Nhi said that medical errors in obstetrics leading to maternal mortalities could be due to outdated guidelines and negligence in following the standard steps of patient care.
She said that hospitals should not wait for the ministry to update treatment guidelines and should do it themselves, as the process at the ministry level takes too much time.
Health officials often obey a “silent culture” and worry about punishment if they report irregularities, she said.
Nhi said the reluctance to report problems had led to a lack of data and to difficulties in analysing causes that could be corrected later.
That is why the reported rate of maternal mortalities in the country is lower than the real rate.
Doctors and nurses in the country should freely report these medical errors, she said, adding that this could help correct potential errors and reduce maternal mortalities.
They should also apply IT to update database on reproductive health, especially medical errors, she added.
Nguyen Duc Vinh, head of maternal and child health department under the Ministry of Health, said that doctors should obey the standard process of patient care to reduce medical errors in obstetrics.
“We do not accept medical errors caused by medical staff attitudes,” Vinh said, adding that if errors are due to low qualifications of staff, they will be given training.
The national action plan on maternal, infant and children health from now to 2020 aims to improve methods to help reduce medical errors.
The plan targets reducing the rate of maternal mortality to 52 per 100,000 live births from 58.3 in 2015. In 1990, the rate was 233 per 100,000 live births.
The plan also calls for improvement of the network of health facilities for emergency aid and treatment in obstetrics and paediatrics.
To reach the plan’s goals, the health ministry’s maternal and child health department has issued updated treatment guidelines on reproductive health care services.
Dinh Anh Tuan, the department’s deputy head, said that local health officials should create their own action plans on maternal, infant and children’s health suited to their areas and facilities.