Reaching more patients in Vietnam with quality cancer care

October 27, 2021 | 08:00
Privately-held Hung Viet Cancer Hospital has launched an integrated cancer care programme for a smooth journey as Vietnam sees an alarming rise in the cancer rate in recent years.

Vietnam reported 182,563 new cases and 122,690 cancer-related deaths in 2020, ranking 92 out of 185 in the world and representing a rise of seven ranks over the previous two years. Vietnam has the 16th-highest cancer rate in Asia, with 159.7 cases per 100,000 people, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

As a member of the Integrated Oncology Centres (IOC), Hung Viet Cancer Hospital is pioneering integrated cancer care in Vietnam.

Integrated cancer care brings together all cancer services under one roof, including cancer diagnosis, treatment, care, and rehabilitation. Along with this, cancer patients can receive much-needed care on the same site without travelling to other healthcare facilities, reducing stress at an already stressful time in their life. Moreover, this helps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections as patients minimise their movements.

The IOC model was established by TE Asia Healthcare Partners which is mostly owned by TPG Capital, one of the largest private equity managers in the US.

The IOC network fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing among cancer specialists in six different markets. It also offers economies of scale in the procurement of bespoke, customised equipment for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In this regard, Hung Viet Cancer Hospital recently launched an advanced radiotherapy centre to provide the full suite of integrated cancer care services to patients.

Reaching more patients in Vietnam with quality cancer care
Integrated cancer care offers quality cancer care within the reach of patients

Healthcare systems are crucial to reorganise cancer services and ensure that patients continue to receive essential care while minimising exposure to coronavirus infection.

Tran Vu Phuong, country manager of IOC in Vietnam said, “The pandemic has limited travel from province to province and patients are unable to go to large centres in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City for continued treatment. This challenge further highlights the importance of a well-coordinated cancer treatment plan and greater access to treatment closer to home.

He added that, “Hung Viet Cancer Hospital is continuing its efforts to increase accessibility to integrated cancer care to patients in Hanoi and the surrounding provinces in northern Vietnam. With the introduction of radiotherapy services, Hung Viet is one of only two private hospitals in Hanoi to provide radiotherapy services within the vicinity.”

Reaching more patients in Vietnam with quality cancer care
Hung Viet Cancer Hospital has brought integrated cancer care to Vietnam by launching a radiotherapy centre

To provide safe treatment during the pandemic, Hung Viet Cancer Hospital has established a COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control committee to strictly follow protocols. All patients who come to the hospital will receive rapid coronavirus tests to avoid the risk of cross-infection in the hospital.

“The growing number of cancer cases is a huge problem in the region, especially during the global health crisis,” said Eng Aik Meng, chairman of IOC.

“With our experience at IOC centres in Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, we recognise that a seamless cancer treatment will lead to better treatment experiences for patients. We are delighted to implement this approach in Vietnam with Hung Viet Cancer Hospital to help cancer patients overcome the disease during this challenging period.”

The hospital became part of IOC’s regional network in 2018 and provides a holistic approach to cancer care using international standards.

Hung Viet Cancer Hospital’s new radiotherapy centre currently houses the latest technologies to detect and treat different cancers. The technologies, which include intensity-modulated radiation therapy, improve the outcomes for patients by enhancing medical precision and shortening treatment times.

For instance, patients just need to spend around 2-5 days from screening to diagnostics at the radiotherapy centre. On the other hand, it could take up from 1-2 months for patients seeking treatments at different facilities in overloaded situation. All patient data is stored in a single system, allowing doctors to access the information easily and create a customised treatment plan for patients.

The hospital also offers the latest version of the accelerated radiotherapy system. This unique technology delivers a high-precision radiotherapy to the cancer tumours while minimising the dose to surrounding normal tissue. As a result, it will increase the efficiency of treatment and reduce the risk of side effects for patients.

Every procedure at the hospital is performed by top-notch doctors, consultants, and medical physicists with leading qualifications in the field of radiation therapy. The team also receives valuable expertise from medical professionals at Vietnam National Cancer Hospital (K Hospital), the country's most prestigious cancer hospital. Thanks to this collaboration, Hung Viet Cancer Hospital has made great strides in the diagnosis and radiation treatment of its patients.

Taking advantage of the IOC's expanding regional network, the hospital also offers teleconsultation services with experts from IOC’s other oncology centres in the region. This large pool of local and foreign cancer specialists gives Hung Viet Cancer Hospital a competitive advantage in treating all types of cancer with complete treatment services.

Sam Lee, CEO of Hung Viet Health Network said, “The war against cancer is not easy. Patients must seek treatment from multiple healthcare providers, making the cancer journey fragmented and complicated. Following the launch of the radiotherapy centre, Hung Viet aims to give renewed hope to cancer patients and ease their psychological burden, especially during this difficult time.”

Founded in 2012, Hung Viet Cancer Hospital examines and treats close to 30,000 patients each year. The hospital became part of IOC’s regional network in 2018 and provides a holistic approach to cancer care using international standards.

The hospital offers a wide range of services including screening, diagnostics, surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, nutritional support, and post-care treatment using one shared care model.

By Anh Duc

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional