Vietnamese Radiology

August 7, 2003

Vietnam is a tropical country of 80 million inhabitants in Southeast Asia. After a long period of war (1946-1954 and 1964-1975), radiology in Vietnam seems to be underdeveloped in comparison to other countries in the region and it faces many

Vietnam is a tropical country of 80 million inhabitants in Southeast Asia. After a long period of war (1946-1954 and 1964-1975), radiology in Vietnam seems to be underdeveloped in comparison to other countries in the region and it faces many difficulties such as shortage of technical equipment and professional manpower.

Since 1990, government health investment increased annually and therefore, public health care including radiology is growing. By the year 2000, the Vietnamese health system had 230.548 medical doctors and higher grad; approximately 5% of them are radiologists.

Radiological equipment in public health system is available in three categories:
?on the district level, radiological basic system compounds multipurpose radiographic apparatus and black-white ultrasound equipments.
?at provincial hospital, radiologists work with Radiographic-Fluoroscopic X-ray-TV system and Color Doppler ultrasound system.
?High Tech Radiology like CT-Scanner was just introduced in Vietnam in 1991 and now 82 systems are installed in the country, but most of them are concentrated in big cities such as Hanoi and HoChiMinh City. About 40% of provincial hospitals are available of Scanner. Multislice scanner is also available in some central hospitals.
?8 MRI systems and 9 DSA equipments are too small a number to fill the need of other specialties.

The most common indication of radiology is X-ray and ultrasound for the chest, abdomen, musculo-skeletal and genito-urinary system. For GI tract, endoscopy is step-by-step replacing X-ray at hospitals of central level. Neuroradiology is the most common indication for CT and MRI.

Interventional radiology began to develop with the most indication like TACE because hepatocellular carcinoma is with high incident in the population. Endovascular embolization, angioplasty and stenting in neuroradiology and acute gastro-intestinal/bronchial hemorrhage are performed at some central hospitals.

Deep specialization in radiology is poorly established even in central hospital because of the lack of competent personnel and highly technical equipment. Radiologists have to work like "generalists of radiology" in many institutions.

Radiological education is performed mostly in Hanoi and HoChiMinh city Faculty of Medicine. After finishing 6 years in the Faculty of Medicine, a student can follow the 3 year study program to get radiologist grad I, and 5 year program to get radiologist grad II. Parallel to the practice system, one can follow the academic system to get the mastership (3 years) and doctorate (5 years) as postgraduate title in radiology. Vietnamese Radiology received great help in education and continuous education from ASEAN and other developed countries, especially from France through the GREF (Groupe des Radiologist Enseignants d'expression Francaise). National priority in radiology lies in standards and education.

The Vietnamese Society of Radiology was founded in 1959 and the first president of the Society was Dr. Hoang Su, the first radiologist in Vietnam. Currently, the elected President of the Society is Professor Hoang Ky, chairman of the radiological department at the Hanoi Faculty of Medicine.

The Vietnamese Society of Radiology is a member of the AAR and AOSR; it has good a relationship with many other radiological societies and wishes to have more close cooperation to professional organizations of radiology in other countries in order to exchange experiences and education in the near future.

Prof. Hoang Duc Kiet
General Secretary of Vietnamese Society of Radiology
Head of Diagnostic Imaging Dept.
Friendship Hospital
1, Tran Khanh Du Str. - Hanoi