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HAPRI Symposium with Professor Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan: Advancing Healthcare Policy Research in Vietnam

Updated: May 3

On January 2, 2023, the Health and Agricultural Research Institute (HAPRI) was honored to welcome and engage in discussion with Professor Nguyen Van Tuan, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a Professor at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

The symposium was held in Room B1.204 at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics, chaired by Associate Professor Vo Tat Thang, Director of HAPRI, and Dr. Le Vinh Trien, Deputy Director of HAPRI. The event also had the honor of welcoming Associate Professor Dr. Tran Phu Manh Sieu (Deputy Director of Nguyen Trai Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City), Dr. Musician Nguyen Le Tuyen, along with the presence of faculty members and students.

Group photo
HAPRI is honored to welcome Professor Nguyen Van Tuan along with the esteemed faculty and students

At the beginning of the symposium, Dr. Le Vinh Trien introduced and led a round of applause to congratulate Professor Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan for recently receiving the Member of the Order of Australia for his contributions to medical research and higher education.

Subsequently, Associate Professor Vo Tat Thang introduced the Health Agricultural Policy Research Institute and outlined its development directions in the fields of Health Economics and Healthcare Policy research. Professor Nguyen Van Tuan provided feedback and presented an overview of scientific research in Vietnam and in the field of Health Economics in particular. Professor Tuan noted that compared to other countries in the region, Vietnam’s scientific publications are limited in both quantity and internal sources (only about 25%). He affirmed the need to enhance the efficiency and presence of Vietnamese Science on the international stage, starting with workshops and training courses. The activities of HAPRI can be seen as an important contribution to improving scientific capacity in Vietnam. Professor Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan briefly shared four sources of research ideas, including:

  1. Observation of reality: Recognizing systemic issues and constructing research works related to the public. Research outcomes should aim for real-world impact, benefiting the recipients of the results. Policy suggestions from research must be based on empirical evidence.

  2. Articles and studies: Reading sources should not only focus on the research specialty but also approach interdisciplinary fields to produce generally effective research. Additionally, workshops and conferences help researchers connect and listen to leading experts, thereby shaping their research directions.

  3. Development trends of industries: With the world’s development trends following technological revolutions, research processes need to grasp the state of technology and the development context of other industries.

  4. Imagination and creativity: This source of ideas comes from personal reflections and a bit of imagination about solving social issues. Professor Tuan quoted Einstein’s saying, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

A lecture
Professor Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan shares insights on scientific research in Vietnam and particularly in the field of Economics

Associate Professor Vo Tat Thang, Associate Professor Tran Phu Manh Sieu, and colleagues from the fields of hospital management and health insurance raised several issues concerning healthcare in particular and scientific research in general in Vietnam today. These issues include a focus on competitive evaluations leading to short-term research that lacks significant meaning; the monopoly of public health insurance; and the shortage of ethics review boards and training in research ethics.

According to Professor Nguyen Van Tuan, the standards of research should focus on the FINER criteria: Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, and Relevant. It is necessary to enhance capabilities and scientific culture through training, which then leads to international collaboration on an equal scientific cultural basis. For the healthcare system, it is essential to encourage the development of private healthcare, thereby exerting pressure to improve the public healthcare system and training system. Dr. Le Vinh Trien suggested that a legal mechanism should be created for humanitarian hospital activities, as a way to mobilize social resources, contributing to solving ethical issues while reducing the exploitation of the humanitarian spirit of healthcare personnel in the public sector, thereby strengthening the state’s reputation.

Professor Dr. Nguyen Van Tuan took a souvenir photo at UEH.

At the end of the symposium, Associate Professor Vo Tat Thang expressed his sincere thanks to Professor Nguyen Van Tuan and Associate Professor Tran Phu Manh Sieu; he also expressed a desire to collaborate on developing training courses and conducting future research projects. HAPRI also greatly appreciates the presence and contributions of the audience members.

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