Health Technology Assessment in Developing Countries: A Brief Introduction for Vietnamese Health-care Policymakers

Dr. Trung Quang Vo


As a middle-income country, Vietnam has faced multiple challenges and financial burdens in relation to the health-care sector. In many countries, policymakers make full use of health technology assessment (HTA) to guide decisions concerning health-care resource allocation. The aim of this article is to present perspectives on the historical development of HTA as well as the future of HTA as a tool for making policy decisions in Vietnam. Further, the article also illustrates how HTA can be used effectively and what is needed to establish a successful HTA agency. In addition, the characteristics and conducive factors of an effective HTA agency are thoroughly discussed. Vietnam has witnessed a rapid increase in health expenditure in recent years, which has led to a critical demand to apply HTA to obtain the maximum benefit from new and existing technologies. To meet that demand, the Health Strategy and Policy Institute was established by the Ministry of Health in 2013. Although the use of HTA in Vietnam is still at an early stage, HTA seems likely to become a necessary part of the health-care sector to support policymakers in making difficult decisions in Vietnam.

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