The Steering Committee for Southwestern Region and the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) have realised the Prime Minister’s Decision 1033/QD-TTg on developing education and vocational training in the delta in 2011-2015via implementing a particular mechanism for the northwestern, Central Highlands, and southwestern regions.
According to Le Hung Dung, vice head of the committee, since 2012, the region has enrolled 697 students from 22 border and island areas and disadvantaged districts in schools.
The committee has also teamed up with universities to train 1,979 architecture and medical students in Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho city and Tra Vinh province.
It has proposed the MoET entrust 26 universities and colleges inside and outside the region to forge connection in training over 4,000 post-graduates.
Despite these efforts, some sectors still lack high-quality human resources, especially medicine and pharmacy.
The region has only six doctors and 0.93 pharmacist per 10,000 people on average while the national average ratio is 7.5 doctors and 1.3 pharmacists per 10,000 people. As many as 332 medical stations in the region do not have doctors.
According to the national strategy on protection and improvement of public health in 2011-2020 and with a vision towards 2030, the Mekong Delta must strive to train over 7,000 doctors and 3,000 pharmacists in the next five years.
About tertiary education, the region has achieved its current target of training 190 students per 10,000 people (the country’s average level is 225 students per 10,000 people). It also set to have 450 students per 10,000 people by 2020.
At a conference of the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region to summarise its six-month performance and launch tasks for the rest of the year, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga pointed to shortcomings in the region’s tertiary education such as lack of investment in training as well as forecast and survey of labour market demand, and the uneven distribution of health workers.
To solve the problems, he said that the Steering Committee suggested the MoET and the Ministry of Health continue allowing regional provinces to join hands in training doctors to provide human resources for grassroots-level medical stations, thus facilitating people’s travelling and ease overload at central-level hospitals.
Particularly, it is necessary to encourage the training of medical staff in specialised departments of tuberculosis, leprosy, mental diseases, anatomical pathology and forensic medicine, he added.