Global partnership - Viêt Nam

Vietnam banner

Distinguished relationship with Hanoi Medical University

The University of Sydney has a long, distinguished and effective relationship with Hanoi Medical University (HMU) in the area of Medicine and HealthCare. Over the last 12 years, largely through the Học Mãi Foundation based at Sydney Medical School, we have been involved in a number of partnership initiatives including exchanging medical and health care students and staff, developing medical and health education in Viêt Nam and developing research projects relevant to the Vietnamese.

Sharing knowledge on disability and development

Ms Ros Madden led the ALA Fellows visit

Ms Ros Madden led the ALA Fellows visit

In 2011 the Faculty of Health Sciences welcomed eight Australian Leadership Award (ALA) fellows from Vietnam and Laos PDR. The fellows, primarily funded through AusAID took part in a 4 week program aimed at sharing the faculty's expertise in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and community based rehabilitation (CBR). In doing so the faculty hoped to build capacity for the project partners to extend their reach to the most marginalised disabled children and adults living in rural and remote areas.

The Vietnamese ALA fellows were from the Office of Genetic Counselling and Disabled Children, Vietnam (OGCDC). It is a private initiative (quasi NGO) under the umbrella of the Hue Medical College. OGCDC has implemented a range of programs that provide vital assistance to sick and disabled children and their families in Central Viêt Nam and the Central Highlands.

Setting up the first physiotherapy undergraduate program in Vietnam

Sharing expertise

Sharing expertise

In 2010, the HMU team met with Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor Patrick Brennan Associate Dean International, Faculty of Health Sciences. These meetings directly led to the proposal to apply for funding through the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship (ALAF) funded by AusAID to set up the first Physiotherapy Undergraduate programme in Viêt Nam outside of Ho Chi Minh city and tailored to the needs of Hanoi and surrounding environs, but underpinned by the latest developments in course design, delivery and assessment.

Four leading rehabilitation and physiotherapy experts at HMU, travelled to Sydney in October 2011 for a two week mentoring program by Discipline of Physiotherapy staff. This equipped HMU staff with the capacity to establish themselves as an expert group that is able to contribute to the long-term sustainability of educational and clinical services in Hanoi and beyond. This has been followed up by a 2012 visit from Sydney University experts to Hanoi to further assist in establishing the new programme.

The excellent track record of the HMU team, their prominent position in clinical and educational centres in northern Viêt Nam, their leadership in rehabilitation and physiotherapy and the comprehensive nature of the Sydney-based programme, will ensure the long-term success of the programme. HMU is ranked the premier medical university in Viêt Nam.

Health knowledge exchange

group of academics standing around a table

International Scientific Conference - Mékong Santé III

Professor Kathryn Refshauge, Professor Patrick Brennan and Associate Professor Louise Ada attended the 2012 International Scientific Conference - Mékong Santé III – at HMU. The conference coincided with HMU’s 110th anniversary, and was an opportunity for health knowledge exchange among six countries from around the world. Our delegates provided four keynote talks including: Establishing walking in non-ambulatory patients after stroke; Improving walking in ambulatory patients after stroke; Generating evidence for practice: the riddle of back pain, and Questioning orthodoxies and implementing innovation in medical imaging.

AusAID fellows from Vietnam

Kathy Refshauge and Patrick Brennan with the group from Vietnam

During 2013, the Faculty of Health Sciences hosted 4 Fellows from Pham Ngoc Thach University (PNTU) and 3 Fellows from Hanoi Medical University (HMU) for two weeks. They underwent training to develop a speech therapy undergraduate program. Their program consisted of attending lectures and tutorials, visiting clinical facilities, observing clinical educators with students and meeting leading academics and clinicians. The aim is to develop a high quality academic and clinical speech therapy curriculum that complements Vietnam’s needs. The project was led by Professor Lindy McAllister, and Dr. Alison Purcell.

The Faculty also hosted 4 Fellows from Hanoi Medical University (HMU), 2 Fellows in Semester 1 and 2 Fellows in Semester 2. The aim of the project is to set up the first Physiotherapy Undergraduate programme in Hanoi, Vietnam and four leading rehabilitation educationalists from HMU had exposure to all elements of the physiotherapy programme in Sydney. The Fellows undertook an intensive professional mentoring attachment with the goal of equipping the four fellows with the resources to train future students with the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to work effectively as members of the physiotherapy profession. The project was led by Professor Louise Ada.

Visit to Vietnam by the Dean and Associate Dean, International

Kathy Refshauge and Patrick Brennan in Vietnam

In October 2013, Professors Kathryn Refshauge and Patrick Brennan met with the Rector of Pham Ngoc Thach University (PNTU) with the view of developing research based degrees and building capacity among academic staff to upgrade qualifications to PhDs.

Meetings were also held with Hanoi Medical University (HMU) and included a collaborating project on pain management and the implementation of BREAST. Professor Louise Ada accompanied Professors Refshauge and Brennan to meet with the Physiotherapy curriculum team to further develop the program which is currently being approved by the Vietnam Ministry for Education with the aim of commencing the program in 2015.