Strengthening human and physical infrastructure of primary healthcare settings to deliver hypertension care in Vietnam: a mixed-methods comparison of two provinces

Lana Meiqari, Thi-Phuong-Lan Nguyen, Dirk Essink, Pamela Wright, Fedde Scheele

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In Vietnam, the overall prevalence of hypertension (HTN) was 21%, with lower estimates for the prevalence of HTN awareness and treatment. The health systems, like other low-and middle-income countries, were designed to provide acute care for episodic conditions, rather than a chronic condition where patients need long-term care across time and disciplines. This article describes the delivery and organization of HTN care at primary healthcare (PHC) settings in both urban and rural areas at Hue Province of Central Vietnam in comparison with Thai Nguyen province in Northern Vietnam based on the infrastructure capacity and patients' and providers' perspectives and experiences We used mixed-methods design that included in-depth semi-structured interviews with patients and healthcare providers at purposively selected PHC facilities in two districts of each province and a modified version of the service availability and readiness assessment inventory at all PHC facilities. We found that HTN patients in both provinces can access healthcare services to diagnose, treat and control their HTN condition at the PHC level with a focus on district facilities. Health services in Hue have allowed commune health stations (CHSs) to provide routine monitoring and prescription refills for HTN patients while maintaining periodical visits to a higher level of care to monitor the stability of the disease. Such provision of care at CHSs remained restricted in Thai Nguyen. Further improvements are necessary for referral procedures, information system to allow for longitudinal follow-up across levels of care and defining a basic health insurance or benefits package, which meets patients' preferences with a monthly timespan for prescription refills.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Policy and Planning
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)918-930
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Delivery of health care
  • hypertension
  • primary healthcare settings
  • Vietnam
  • access to care

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